For the second time in three weeks, Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco recorded a hat trick. And for the second time in three weeks, he was voted the MLS Player of the Week for Week 22 by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).
Giovinco, whose first hat trick of the season came against D.C. United on July 23, accomplished the feat again in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the New England Revolution to surge into the Golden Boot lead with 15 goals.
The reigning MVP also has 10 assists on the year, and has tallied seven goals and three assists during Toronto’s current four-game winning streak.
Giovinco put Toronto on the board in the 20th minute with his first of two scintillating goals nominated for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week. A Michael Bradley ball was deflected in Giovinco's direction at the right side of the box and the Italian striker responded with a rocketing strike off the outside of his right foot, curling it past Kei Kamara and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.
Toronto's all-time leading scorer dazzled with his second goal of the match moments later, collecting the ball on the edge of the area and sending a long-range curling shot over the scrambling Shuttleworth.
He completed his hat trick with a penalty kick to give Toronto a 3-0 lead in the 76th minute. It was his fourth hat trick in two MLS seasons, which already ranks second in league history.
The red-hot Giovinco and Toronto FC next face Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Field on Saturday (9 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
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.