Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC Star Sebastian Giovinco Scoring but Taking His Lumps in MLS

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC Star Sebastian Giovinco Scoring but Taking His Lumps in MLS

Article excerpt

Giovinco scoring but taking lumps too

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TORONTO - Sebastian Giovinco continues to take the MLS by storm. But the Toronto FC star is taking his lumps from opposition players.

After scoring twice and setting up a third goal, Giovinco was pulled in the 84th minute of a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. Toronto coach Greg Vanney said he made the move in part because the diminutive Italian was growing hot under the collar.

"He'd prefer to be protected (by the officials) a little bit more over the course of games," Vanney said after Saturday's match. "(He was) frustrated that he holds a guy off and he's looking to go to goal and somehow the foul turns around and is on him.

"He was a little baffled, as I was, in some of the things going on ... Part of the reason we got him off was because he was getting quite fiery on a number of levels and he's not a guy we want to lose in upcoming matches."

Giovinco now has 19 goals and 14 assists in his debut MLS season, continuing his assault on the record books.

With five games remaining, he is already tied for second in league history for goals and assists combined in a single season.

The record of 34 was set by Chris Wondolowski in 2012. Giovinco is tied at 33 with Jason Kreis (1999), Robbie Keane (2014) and Cobi Jones (1998).

The five-foot-four, 135-pound Italian, who punches well above his weigh, has been fouled a league-leading 77 times this season. Many of those fouls have been cynical and very physical.

Colorado captain Sam Cronin was yellow-carded Saturday after his arm connecting with Giovinco's face after a pretty flick-on. Giovinco was hacked down on other occasions.

"There were a few times where I think the ref may have gotten it wrong," Giovinco said diplomatically through an interpreter. "But such is the game of soccer and that's the way it goes. We'll see what happens next time."

Asked if the treatment was getting worse as the season unfolds, Giovinco chuckled and replied: "That's what it feels like. …

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