Sebastian Giovinco with Canadian Championship 2017
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Sebastian Giovinco's top five moments with Toronto FC

And just like that, after four scintillating seasons in Major League Soccer with 68 goals, 52 assists and five major trophies later, the Sebastian Giovinco era is over.

Late Wednesday night, Toronto FC announced that Giovinco had transferred to Saudi side Al-Hilal FC

The four years went by in a flash after the Canadian side brought him in from Juventus. One of the most successful Designated Players of all-time, his diminutive frame at the forefront of a vital culture change in Toronto, Giovinco helped lead the most successful period in club history. Let's take a stroll back at five of his (countless) great moments in MLS.

Anytime he stood over a free kick

Duh.

This is easy and simply cannot be reduced to a singular moment, because the feeling of anticipation whenever Giovinco delicately placed the ball down for a free kick is unmatched. You felt like he was going to score damn near every single one.

It's an unquantifiable phenomenon, yet an unmistakable one. 

Unlike some of the world's best dead-ball specialists, whose set-piece reputation can outweigh their actual productivity, the numbers support and embolden Giovinco's wizardry. In 2017 he set a new league record for most direct free-kick goals after just two and a half seasons; From March 2015 through March 2018, no player across Europe's top five leagues had more goals from direct free kicks than Seba. His tally of 15 bettered Lionel Messi (12), Neymar (9), Cristiano Ronaldo (7) and all else.

2017 Canadian Championship heroics

Three of the five trophies Giovinco won with Toronto came via the Canadian Championship, and his most memorable performance came in the second leg of the 2017 final. 

Heading to BMO Field level 1-1 with the Montreal Impact, the visitors struck first in Leg 2. Then, it was all Giovinco. The Italian found an equalizer in the 53rd minute, then with extra-time looming deep into stoppage time, Giovinco sent BMO Field into a frenzy.

Giovinco scored the winning goal five minutes into stoppage time, hopped off the field to celebrate with the supporters that loved him dearly.

Seba's mid-match beer swig

Part of Giovinco's shine was his brash hubris and defiant mentality, necessary to fuel his penchant for golazos and tekkers. It bubbled to the surface in a non-soccer way on the pitch one time in glorious fashion. 

A fan tossed a beer in the direction of teammate Jozy Altidore, who also flashed defiant confidence in the face of adversity, and cupped his hand to his ear. Giovinco, not far behind his strike partner, ran up, picked up the cup of beer, took a swig, smiled (of course) and tossed it back over the barrier. Then he jumped on Jozy's back in celebration. In other words: Perfection.

I just might be personally responsible for a third of that video's views alone.

When he dribbled past five Red Bulls and scored

The part about brash hubris applies here. 

Watch Giovinco's movement and where he picks up the ball — it's an absolutely harmless position. Then he weaves between, around and through a number of defenders and fires a weak foot blast into the corner.

Words can't do it justice; Watch the video.

2018 Concacaf Champions League run

Toronto FC were a penalty shootout away from becoming MLS's first Concacaf Champions League winners thanks, in large part, to Giovinco. He scored a goal in each round, including an incredible free kick as TFC held on to beat Tigres on aggregate in the quarterfinals. 

Heading into Leg 2 of the final at Chivas de Guadalajara, Toronto FC were down on aggregate 2-1 and staring up a mountain with Chivas having those two away goals. Then, Chivas scored first in Leg 2, pushing TFC further from the trophy. But Giovinco scored in the 44th minute to level the aggregate score, then made his penalty in the shootout. 

So, so close to continental glory.


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