David Villa vs Sebastian Giovinco: How the strikers compare

Two sides expected to battle for MLS supremacy in 2018 will go head-to-head in the Eastern Conference again. It’s New York City FC vs Toronto FC and that also means David Villa vs Sebastian Giovinco in the scoring charts.

Toronto kick things off with the season opener on Saturday at home against Columbus Crew, while NYCFC aren’t in action until Sunday evening. They face a trip to SKC.

They were the top two sides in the East last season, however Toronto finished 12 points ahead, winning the Supporters’ Shield. Interestingly the pressure on Villa to deliver the good is seemingly more than Giovinco. NYCFC scored 56 goals last season, compared to Toronto’s 74.

Both players head into their fourth season. Villa is yet to win any silverware, while Giovinco and Toronto are looking to defend their historic treble from 2017. There is no doubting how influential they both are and how much of an impact they can have on how their side performs respectively. But how do the two compare?

David Villa vs Sebastian Giovinco in stats

David Villa vs Sebastian Giovinco compared

Their stats are incredibly similar. Villa has played in an additional eight games, mainly due to Giovinco’s injury struggles last season. Villa’s goal output is higher, having scored eight more goals.

However, Giovinco’s direct involvement in overall goals is where he comes into his own. In his 86 appearances he has contributed to 92 goals, with his 37 assists nearly doubling Villa’s 21.

Villa does however have a better minutes per goal ratio, making him the more clinical of the two with his chances.

Last season Villa finished on 22 goals, while Gio netted 16. They were outscored by Nemanja Nikolic, who topped the standings with 24. Both players will have an eye on winning the golden boot this season. Although personal accolades aren’t going to be their main aim, it’s going to be an interesting battle to watch.

Who will score more goals this season? 

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Relief for Toronto as Giovinco’s injury not thought to be serious

Sebastian Giovinco’s injury is not thought to be serious, despite initial concerns as he limped off the field in Toronto’s 2-2 draw away to Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening.

Toronto fans would have feared the worst when they saw the Italian star replaced by Tosaint Ricketts in first-half stoppage time, but Greg Vanney revealed after the game that the injury is not as serious as it appeared.

“He’s OK,” the Toronto head coach said after the game. “He’s sore. It was a contusion around the side of the leg. When that gets swollen and tightened up, it’s tough to loosen up and move. We’ll see how he progresses over the next couple of days.”

Giovinco was forced off after a heavy challenge from defender Oguchi Onyewu, just moments before Toronto then earned a penalty which Jozy Altidore dispatched to get them back into the contest.

The Reds then went 2-1 up on 71 minutes thanks to a Justin Morrow goal but were pegged back two minutes later when CJ Sapong rounded Clint Irwin to seal a draw.

Toronto have started the season with back-to-back road draws but will be frustrated after letting their lead slip at Philadelphia, just a week after Giovinco missed a penalty at Real Salt Lake in that opening 0-0 draw.

They travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps next weekend but it is unclear whether Giovinco will be back in time to play on the artificial turf at BC Place.

Toronto suffer enormous blow with Giovinco ruled out until October

Toronto FC‘s terrible weekend has continued with news emerging out of the club today that Sebastian Giovinco will be out of action with a thigh injury for the next four weeks.

Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to 10-man Montreal Impact was a tough pill to swallow for the Canadian side, but the injury picked up by Giovinco in that defeat was a much bigger concern.

Giovinco is the league’s best player, with the reigning MLS MVP currently tied for the Golden Boot lead with Bradley Wright-Phillips and David Villa on 16 goals, while also recording the second-most assists this season with 13.

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Since joining MLS in 2015, Giovinco has scored 38 goals and picked up 29 assists in 59 regular season matches. He is undoubtedly Toronto’s most important player and his absence will come as a major blow for the current Eastern Conference leaders.

The Italian helped TFC to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history last term, earning the MLS Golden Boot, MLS Newcomer of the Year and MLS MVP awards on the way.

Giovinco is expected to miss the Reds’ next four games, starting with the road trip to Chicago Fire on September 11 before consecutive home games against New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union and Orlando City.

The ‘Atomic Ant’ should be ready to return to action for the home tie against DC United on October 1, which will see him back on the field in the run up to the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Toronto FC lead the East by two points with seven matches to play. They are 12 points above the red line and should have a playoff place in the bag. But they would be devastated to lose out on the Eastern Conference title from here, so coping without Giovinco is going to be crucial.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Toronto FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Toronto FC

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Wednesday, August 24 – 19:30 BST (00:30 ET)

Match Odds: Orlando City 13/10 – Draw 12/5 – Toronto 15/8

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome Toronto to Citrus Bowl on Wednesday night as these two sides play out a game in hand.

If Orlando avoid defeat in this tie they will move up into 6th in the Eastern Conference but will have played a game more than DC in doing so.

Jason Kreis will be relatively pleased with a point last time out against Colorado who have proved to be tough opposition this season. However, worryingly for Orlando, they have won just once in their last nine outings.

Orlando won the last meeting between these sides at the Citrus Bowl in dramatic fashion just two months ago. A late Kaka penalty saw them take all three points and they will be hoping for a repeat of that victory to keep their challenge for a playoff place in the balance.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City

Toronto FC come into this one battling at the top of the Eastern Conference. They are in second place but can go top with a win. This is a great opportunity for them to start their push for a top spot finish in the East but there is still a lot of work to do.

Greg Vanney will be confident of Toronto’s chances in this one, they have scored at least twice in their last four ties against Orlando in all competitions.

Toronto have been in incredible form of late, they’re unbeaten in their last six games, winning five. This will be tough tie away from home but they’re the inform team.

This is one of three remaining away games for Toronto this season, a win here will put them in a really strong position to go on and finish top in the East.

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Team News

Orlando City have six injury concerns heading into this tie as Pedro Ribeiro, Harrison Heat, Rafael Ramos and Cristian Higuita are all out, while Kevin Molino and Matias Perez Garcia are doubts.

Toronto could be without seven through injury as Clint Irwin and Mark Bloom are out, while Benoit Cheyrou, Will Johnson, Eriq Zavaleta, Justin Morrow and Daniel Lovitz are all doubtful for this tie.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/W/L/D/D

Toronto’s last five: W/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Form – Toronto are unbeaten in their last six, picking up 16 points out of a possible 18.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – Orlando’s goalscorer has netted 12 in 23 games this season and his teammates will be hoping they can supply him so he can come up with the goods to propel them to three points here.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City Cyle Larin

Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 Toronto – Despite Orlando City’s poor form over recent weeks they have the ability to frustrate Toronto here. A draw isn’t the worst result for either side but both will be desperate for a win here, which ultimately could cause them to make mistakes.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs FC Dallas

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. FC Dallas

Venue: BMO Field – Saturday, May 7 – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)

Match Odds: Toronto 11/10 – Draw 5/2 – Dallas 12/5

Match Preview

Toronto FC finally play their first home game of the season this weekend as they welcome FC Dallas to BMO Field on Saturday evening.

Toronto come into this tie off the back of their 2-1 away loss against Portland. They sit 3rd in the Eastern Conference, which is impressive considering all their matches have been away from home.

This tie starts a run of four consecutive home games for Toronto. If they can make home form count they could find themselves at the top of the Eastern Conference and mount a strong challenge for the Supporters’ Shield.

Greg Vanney’s side will be under pressure from their home fans who will expect them to win against a Dallas side who have struggled on the road.

Toronto Celebrate New York Red Bulls

FC Dallas come into this tie off the back of their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of NYRB, a far from ideal result heading into this one.

Oscar Pareja’s side have conceded 17 goals already this season, which is a concern as they face a Toronto side who have only let in seven.

Dallas haven’t lost a Major League Soccer tie between the sides since 2007, but they will be aware of how tough this game will be.

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Team News

Toronto have just three injury concerns heading into this tie as Clement Simonin, Benoit Cheyrou and Jonathan Osorio are all expected to miss out. Vanney has no players suspended or nearing suspension.

FC Dallas are expecting to be without two as Alex Zendejas and Matt Hedges are both carrying injuries. Pareja also has no players missing through suspension.

Key Points

Toronto’s last five: L/D/W/W/L

FC Dallas’ last five: D/W/W/L/L

Key Stat: Despite playing every game away from home so far this season Toronto have conceded the least amount of goals in Major League Soccer.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – An easy choice. The Toronto goal-machine has already scored six in his eight appearances this season. He will be looking forward to playing at home just as much as the Toronto fans will enjoy watching their star-player.

Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC 2016

Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-0 FC Dallas – There will be a buzz about this game for Toronto. They have conceded less goals than games they have played this season and will be relishing the chance to play in front of their home fans. Dallas have struggled away from home and might not have enough to take anything from this clash.

Sebastian Giovinco sets MLS record as he scoops double award

Sebastian Giovinco has won the 2015 MLS Golden Boot as well as leading the league in assists to cap off what has been a sensational debut season in Major League Soccer for the Toronto star.

The Italian forward joined Toronto from Juventus during the offseason in one of the most exciting deals in MLS history and he didn’t disappoint.

He has scooped the Golden Boot award with 22 regular season goals and has also taken the assist title with 16. Kei Kamara also netted 22 times but Giovinco’s superior assist tally acts as the tiebreaker.

WATCH – A recap of Sebastian Giovinco’s incredible debut season in MLS (Video via MLS on YouTube):

The ‘Atomic Ant’ becomes the first MLS player to ever lead the league in both goals and assists at the end of the regular season and he has also become the first ever Toronto player to lead MLS in assists.

His 22 goals in one campaign also eclipsing Toronto’s previous record set by Dwayne De Rosario (15) in 2010.

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Toronto FC will now enter their first ever MLS Cup Playoff run with an away game to Montreal Impact on Thursday night. They lost 2-1 to the Impact on Sunday and will need to improve if they are to make it past the knockout round.

With Giovinco in their side they can never be ruled out and the tricky attacker will now look to fire the Reds to MLS Cup success at the first attempt.

Is Sebastian Giovinco Major League Soccer’s most dangerous player ever?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto vs. Montreal Impact

Venue: BMO Field – Wednesday, June 24 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST – Thursday, June 25)

Match Odds: Toronto 5/6 – Draw 11/4 – Montreal Impact 3/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC and Montreal Impact clash in a crucial MLS Canadian derby at BMO Field on Wednesday night.

Toronto come into the 401 derby following an extremely disappointing 2-0 home defeat to New York City at the weekend, which marked their first loss in five games.

Greg Vanney’s side had previously won three on the bounce and they currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with 19 points from their opening 13 games.

The Reds also have numerous games in hand on the teams above them, so they’re in a good spot as it stands and a win over their Canadian rivals could lift them into third depending on other results.

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Montreal Impact will arrive in high spirits after an impressive 2-0 win against Orlando City last time out and have won five of their last seven games.

The Impact secured a first MLS away win since September 2013 when they beat the Columbus Crew 2-1 on June 6, so that’s a burden they will be happy to have off their back and should give them a real incentive to believe they can win the derby.

Frank Klopas’ side are fifth in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 12 games and will leapfrog Toronto with a victory as their challenge for a playoff spot this season is in good shape.

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The last MLS meeting between the two sides was a 1-1 draw back in October 2014. They most recently met in the 2015 Canadian Championship with the Impact winning the first leg 1-0 and Toronto winning the second leg 3-2 as Montreal progressed on away goals.

Team News

Toronto’s Clement Simonin (knee), Steven Caldwell (achilles), Mark Bloom (leg) and Daniel Lovitz (knee) are all out injured.

Montreal Impact will be without the injured Adrian Lopez (knee), Justin Mapp (elbow), Cameron Porter (knee) and Kenny Cooper (knee). There’s also doubts over the fitness of Hassoun Camara (knee) and Eric Miller (hamstring).

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Key Points

Toronto’s last five in MLS: D/W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s last five in MLS: L/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have failed to win 27 of their last 28 away matches in MLS (D7, L20). The Impact have also never beaten Toronto away from home.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Italian has been a revelation so far and if ever there is a game that the Toronto fans want see him provide the goods, then this is it. He could make the difference as he has done so many times this season already.

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Score Prediction

Toronto 2-2 Montreal Impact – This is a clash that has the potential to be a fascinating watch. And it’s likely it will be, as both sides will hopefully serve up an entertaining affair that should provide us with goals.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes 

Venue: BMO Field – Saturday, May 30 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: Toronto 8/11 – Draw 5/2 – San Jose Earthquakes 4/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC entertain San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening, live on Sky Sports 1 as two of the most inform MLS players are on show.

Toronto come into this one with just one loss in their last five. They beat Portland Timbers 1-0 last weekend and are sitting 5th in the Eastern Conference.

Sebastian Giovinco has been in brilliant form since his move to MLS, scoring five in ten games and he has quickly become a fan favourite.

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Greg Vanney’s side have played just twice at home this season, so their chances of making the playoffs is looking strong given they have already played eight times on the road.

San Jose Earthquakes haven’t lost in their last five games and are looking strong in a very competitive Western Conference.

The Quakes have some tough fixtures coming up, against FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy, so picking up points here is a must.

Chris Wondolowski has been in sensational form this season. He netted his 100th MLS regular season goal last weekend and he has seven in 12 games so far this season.

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Team News

Toronto have six injury concerns. Jozy Altidore, Clement Simonin, Collen Warner, Steven Caldwell, Robbie Findley and goalkeeper Joe Bendik are all set to miss out.

San Jose Earthquakes have five injuries. Innocent Emeghara, Mark Sherrod, Steven Lenhart, Shaun Francis and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi look to be unavailable.

Key Points

Toronto’s last five: W/W/L/D/W

San Jose Earthquakes’ last five: D/W/D/W/D

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes have failed to win in 17 of their last 19 games on the road in MLS.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – the Italian is in fine form and he will be keen to score in front of his adoring fans.

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Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes – The two sides locked in a tight game with the Giovinco and Wondolowski to score once again.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: BMO Field – Saturday, May 23 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 3)

Match Odds: Toronto 13/10 – Draw 12/5 – Portland 2/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC host the Portland Timbers this weekend in a fixture that usually produces plenty of goals. The Timbers will end their three-game away streak in this tie before heading back to Providence Park next weekend.

Toronto are coming off a hard fought draw away at Gillette Stadium last weekend, taking a point from MLS Cup runners-up New England Revolution in a 1-1 draw. Michael Bradley scored his first goal of the season in that game and will look to build on that on Saturday.

The Reds will be rocked by the news that Jozy Altidore is out for 4-5 weeks with a hamstring injury, as their leading goalscorer was injured and subbed off in the 18th minute last weekend and will definitely miss the upcoming USA games.

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They have acquired ten points so far this season, a number not to be sniggered at, with eight games played away from home so far this season due to work being done on BMO Field. The home loss to Houston Dynamo was demoralising and didn’t do any favours for head coach Greg Vanney and he will be hoping for a positive result from Saturday’s match.

Vanney is still under pressure to deliver results and a win here could ease some of that pressure as back-to-back home games are on the horizon for Toronto, and that could see them deliver maximum points and bring some confidence back into the side.

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The Timbers have been rather underwhelming so far this season with three wins, four draws and four losses so far. They sit ninth in the Western Conference and their stop-start campaign is what could hamper their chances of finishing in the playoff spots come the end of season.

The acquisition of MLS veteran Nat Borchers from Real Salt Lake has seen the experienced defender become an important part of the defence and also the attack. He is the Portland Timbers’ second-highest goalscorer so far this season with two goals and has a good partnership with Liam Ridgewell at the back.

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Fanendo Adi is the leading goalscorer as he has four of the team’s ten so far. The Nigerian needs to keep up that momentum and lead his team into Western Conference playoff places now, as the Timbers are only three points off tenth place in the Western, but also three points off sixth.

Portland are sitting 12th in the form table and something needs to change quickly. This is an away fixture Portland haven’t enjoyed in the past as they have failed to win on their previous three visits to Toronto.

Last season, the two sides played out a classic, resulting in a 3-2 victory for Toronto FC back in September.

Team News

As mentioned for Toronto, Jozy Altidore will miss the game with a hamstring strain. Clement Simonin will miss out after surgery on his knee, while there are doubts over Steven Caldwell, Robbie Findley (both achilles) and goalkeeper Joe Bendik (foot).

Portland Timbers will still be without Will Johnson, who is recovering from his broken leg, while Michael Nanchoff (hernia) and Ben Zemanski (torn ACL) are both still out too.

Key Points

Toronto’s last five: L/W/W/L/D

Portland Timbers’ last five: W/L/D/W/L

Key Stat: There have been 19 goals in the last five meetings between these two.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – Although fellow new signing Jozy Altidore is out for the foreseeable future, Giovinco has four goals himself and will look to penetrate the leaky Portland defence that have conceded twelve so far this season.

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Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-2 Portland Timbers – This fixture often sees goals and this one will be no different as a new look attack for Toronto could see more chances for goals. Portland Timbers have Diego Valeri back, while Fanendo Adi is pushing to add to his tally. It could be goals, goals, goals in this one.

MLS Player of the Week: Week 7 – Sebastian Giovinco

Toronto FC have not started the new season well. They beat the Vancouver Whitecaps on opening day but have lost four straight games since, and Saturday saw them lose 3-2 to FC Dallas in another disappointing result.

One positive for the Reds was the performance of Sebastian Giovinco though as the Italian playmaker brought Toronto back into the game with two goals in the final ten minutes.

They may have still lost the game but the two goals were pure class. Many will hope that the performance of Giovinco was his breakout game and that he can kick on and lead the team to some more victories now after a slow start.

WATCH: Giovinco’s brace against FC Dallas on Saturday (via MLS on YouTube):

The ‘Atomic Ant’ now has three goals and two assists in five games and it’s no fault of his that the Reds are struggling at this early stage.

Defensively, Toronto have a lot to work on, but the attacking core of Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco and Michael Bradley should see the Reds turn things around sooner rather than later.

As well as his two goals, Giovinco completed 89% of his passes, with one key pass and had a total of nine shots in a great display despite defeat.

Sebastian Giovinco's statistics from loss at FC Dallas (Stats via WhoScored.com)

Sebastian Giovinco’s statistics from loss at FC Dallas (Stats via WhoScored.com)

If the 28-year-old attacker can perform like that on a weekly basis, it’s unlikely Toronto will lose many more games.

The Reds now look to next weekend when they’ll face Orlando City in their sixth straight road game to open the new campaign.

Toronto’s first home match will come on May 10 against the Houston Dynamo and once they can play in front of their own fans, things should improve.

What did you make of Sebastian Giovinco’s performance on Saturday? Did he deserve to be named as our Player of the Week?