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Toronto FC sells Sebastian Giovinco to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal


Sebastian Giovinco’s time in Toronto is over.

After contract negotiations failed between the 32-year-old forward and Toronto FC, he was sold to Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a fee between $2-3 million on Wednesday as the January transfer window is set to close.

Giovinco joined the Reds in 2015 from Juventus and made a huge impact upon arrival, scoring 22 goals while tallying 16 assists in his debut season in MLS. He scored a total of 83 goals and 64 assists in 142 appearances in all competitions for TFC. His 83 goals make him Toronto FC’s all-time leading goal scorer.

He also earned MLS Most Valuable Player honors in 2015 and led them to a domestic treble in 2017 – winning the Canadian Cup and the MLS Cup.

“Seba is any GM’s dream,” Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis said in a club statement. “Coming into the organization, I was really excited to work with him and get to know him as a person and as a player.

“His departure presents both challenges and opportunities. Obviously, replacing a player like Sebastian is difficult, but we are working diligently and are confident that we will be adding a new Designated Player in the near future who will be an exciting addition to our team.”

Giovinco was the top-earner in MLS last season, taking home $7.115 million. His contract was set to expire after the 2019 season.

Giovinco is the latest player to leave Toronto this offseason. Victor Vazquez was sold to Qatari club Al-Arabi, Gregory van der Wiel was sent home from training camp after getting into an altercation with head coach Greg Vanney and Nick Hagglund was traded to MLS newcomer FC Cincinnati.

Toronto FC starts CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 play against Panama’s Independiente La Chorrera on February 19.


  1. TFC JUST ACQUIRE TERRENCE BOYD…..WAIT WHAT?!!!! An Altidore / Boyd partnership up top, makes things very interesting ? ……that might just work.

    …..DC UNITED WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS???? Everyone else is making moves!!!!!!

  2. From a cold blooded GM standpoint I am looking at a team that spends a lot of money already but quit winning last season, and a player who while excellent is on a visible downward curve in his scoring. I am sure most of MLS would be happy to have him but could/would they spend $7m/year for the privilege? Qatar is the epitome of a vanity project paycheck/retirement league and I am sure they want players like this around to bring attention before 2022. MLS the economics and performance has to work.

  3. ” sold to Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a fee between $2-3 million”……WHAT???? 3 – 2 million AND NO OTHER TEAM IN MLS JUMPED ON THAT OFFER somehow ? ???? Atlanta (to substitute Almiron)? Orlando (because they have no one)? DC United (imagine the star power with Rooney….and there are rumors that PSG want Acosta???), Cinnci (new expansion team with new raw talent that needs a TOP striker)? LAFC (would make them unstoppable)? NYRB? NYCFC (to substitute David Villa)? He would have made ANY MLS TEAM amazing to watch. One of the most dynamic players this league has ever seen and TFC lets him go, without any other team scrabbling for him…….FOR 2 – 3 MILLION ? ?? A player that single-handedly carried TFC on his back ? ????. Wow ?, what is going on at TFC?? No Giovinco or Vasquez? They just turned into a bottom level 2019 MLS team…..I guess someone needs company at the bottom of the league ??

      • Wonder what his salary at Al Hilal will be if TFC turned down the 7 million salary.

        Isn’t TFC paying Bradley around 6 million? I’d get rid of Bradley and Jozy, and pay Giovinco 4 – 5 million tops. He’s the most productive player in their history, but they keep MB and Jozy. WTF.

      • sebagiovincoofficial
        “Toronto has been home to me and my family for almost 5 years. I arrived here from Italy in January 2015 and immediately felt something special. From day one, I worked hard to repay the opportunity that Toronto had given me. From that first year, I realized that we could do great things here. Through hard work, passion and determination my teammates and I transformed TFC and made it one of the best clubs in MLS and in North America. We didn’t do this alone. Without our great fans this would not have been possible. I can confidently say that I significantly contributed in making unprecedented history at TFC. We wrote a new chapter in the club’s history, together. All for One. This journey has been a wonderful experience for my family and me. It’s without hesitation that I can say that I wanted it to end differently. As I have always maintained, I was hoping to renew my contract and finish my playing career in a city that feels like home. It is here where my daughter was born and where my son took his first steps on a football pitch. A place my family loves to live and wanted to call home for good. Unfortunately, this desire of ours has clashed with a change in direction with current TFC management. For the 2 years I have been seeking to extend my contract however management was reluctant. Recently, after refusing to exercise the club option for 2020, I was offered terms that I deemed unacceptable. They may say I left for a more lucrative deal, but this is not the case. Their offer and lack of transparency is a clear message. It seems management prefers to focus on things other than the pure desire to win. After having grown the brand and elevating the overall reputation of TFC both at home and abroad, it seems I no longer serve a purpose. I would have accepted less to stay in Toronto. Therefore, I reluctantly announce that my tenure as a TFC player has come to an end. I will now focus my attention and efforts towards another challenge. With me I bring beautiful memories. Toronto – the 6ix – you are and will always remain in my heart. Thank you for everything you have taught me about myself and about life. I love you Toronto!”

        NOPE, he would have taken less to stay. They were making room for Terrence Boyd. You get rid of a proven product for an injury prone hypothetical possibility.

    • 2-3 million is the transfer that MLS/TFC will split, someone above said 11 million is the salary per year but I didn’t look to see if that is accurate.

  4. Toronto went cheap here man. Bad look for MLS. Lose your best player to some middle East league, when he says he would’ve stayed in Toronto for less money. Polar Vortex got Toronto FC acting crazy

  5. He was one of the most exciting players to ever play in MLS! Jeez, I would hate to play against that guy. He was so good at putting pressure on a defender around the 18. Great with the ball at his feet but so slight the wind could blow him down. How about those set pieces, wow!
    Is Toronto officially scrambling? Does MLS institute a by-law to funnel another top flight talent to the huge market?

  6. Good move. The Giovinco acquisition will go down as a legendary excellent move for MLS. Buying an Italy international in his 20’s, who absolutely delivered the goods for his team was groundbreaking. But it’s run its course, and TFC needs to move on from this era. Good luck to the player going forward.

  7. Enjoy that 300 page plan up in Toronto.
    Fortunately for Toronto they don’t have a big brother club that Ali Baba can get practice squad rejects from and try and pass them off as DPs.


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