Player of the Matchday

Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco wins MLS Player of the Week after hat trick

Sebastian Giovinco busted his slump in a big way on Saturday, netting a hat trick to power Toronto FC to a 4-1 win against D.C. United at BMO Field.

On Tuesday, he was rewarded for his performance, getting voted MLS Player of the Week for Week 20 of the season by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).

The 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP netted his third career MLS hat trick on Saturday. He got things going with a beautiful free kick in the 21st minute, curling a stunning strike over the wall and inside the near post from just left of center to make it 1-0. The goal is one of eight nominees for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week. 

Giovinco bagged another free kick goal in the 39th minute, curling a 24-yard effort from the right side into the top left corner to give Toronto a 3-1 lead. The Italian finished off the hat trick with a goal in second half stoppage time, volleying home Mark Bloom's cross from the top of the six-yard box to complete the 4-1 win.

The hat trick ended an eight-game goalless streak for Giovinco, who now has 11 goals and seven assists on the season, the highest combined total in the league. His 11 goals are tied for third in MLS, two behind New York City FC’s David Villa for the league lead.

Giovinco is currently in San Jose with the MLS All-Stars ahead of Thursday’s All-Star Game against Arsenal at Avaya Stadium (7:30 pm ET; ESPN and UniMas in the US; TSN and RDS in Canada). The 29-year-old will return to Toronto following Thursday’s exhibition and will likely be available for selection when fifth-place TFC hosts Columbus Crew SC on Sunday (7:30 pm ET; SN360 in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US).

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.