(Reuters) - Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco added another honor to cap a brilliant debut season in Major League Soccer (MLS) when he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player on Wednesday.
The Italian international, 28, had already won the MLS Golden Boot award and had been voted the MLS Newcomer of the Year Award while also earning a spot on the MLS Best XI.
Giovinco, who joined Toronto FC from Italian heavyweights Juventus in January, ended his maiden season with a tally of 22 goals and 16 assists, becoming the first player ever in MLS to record at least 20 goals and 10 assists in a single season.
“I’m very proud and honored to receive the award for MLS MVP,” Giovinco said in a statement. “I am satisfied with my personal season but look forward to finishing on a more positive note next season for our team.”
“I’m very happy and proud to be in Toronto, as everyone can see from my performances on the field. I’m glad to have chosen this city as my new home.
“I really hope to stay here as long as possible and one day bring a MLS championship to Toronto and our fans.”
Giovinco, who helped lead Toronto to their first ever playoff appearance, set the MLS record for most combined goals and assists in a single season, his tally of 38 beating Chris Wondolowski’s previous best of 27 goals and 7 assists (34 combined) in 2012.
The Italian set a number of club records at Toronto FC, among them becoming the first player at the club to record two hat tricks in MLS — on July 12 against New York City FC and on Aug. 5 against Orlando City SC.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Keating