Altidore and Giovinco - Toronto FC
Nick Turchiaro

Behind the numbers: Are Giovinco, TFC really much worse without Altidore?

Since Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco joined Toronto FC in 2015, the club has been one of MLS's most successful sides. They've won MLS Cup, a Supporters' Shield and three Canadian Championships while appearing in another MLS Cup final as well as a Concacaf Champions League final.

When the pair play together, the attack seems unstoppable. They compliment each other so well and have refined a near-telepathic connection over the years. But Altidore has often been unavailable through injury and suspension, so what happens to Giovinco and the team when Altidore sits?

The question is relevant once again as Altidore will be unavailable for Toronto on Saturday against the Montreal Impact (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info) during Heineken Rivalry Week due to a suspension. With TFC in desperate need of three points to retain hope of making an improbable run to the playoffs, what do the numbers say about Giovinco and the team with and without Altidore?

If looking strictly at the bottom line, Giovinco's output isn't all that much different without Altidore in MLS. His productivity is virtually the same in games the pair both start and games in which he starts without Altidore since both joined.  

Note: These stats DO NOT account for substitutions, as some games when they didn't start together, one would enter from the bench. 

  Games started Goals Assists
Giovinco with Altidore 55 37 26
Giovinco without Altidore 45 25 21

In total, Giovinco averages 1.15 goal involvements per game when he starts with Altidore and 1.02 goal involvements per game without. Not as stark a contrast as assumed. 

Basic bottom line stats don't tell the full story, of course, and the numbers are taken without the vital presence of context (form, level of opponent, home/away, etc.) but the sample size is representative enough to raise an eyebrow or two. 

Regardless, Giovinco or Altidore can score in losses: what happens to the team when one or both are unavailable? According to the stats, the team's success has been more impacted more by the availability of Altidore than Giovinco.

  Games Wins Losses Draws Win %  
With both Altidore and Giovinco 72 38 21 13 52.8
Without Altidore 43 12 19 12 27.9
Without Giovinco 19 8 6 5 42.1
Without both 10 3 6 1 30.0

Again, context plays a large role. Giovinco has been available more than Altidore, meaning that Giovinco has it more difficult than his strike partner. Giovinco has to ride solo more often than Altidore does.

Toronto will hope they can pull out a win without Altidore this weekend as they continue their trek up the Eastern Conference standings.

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