He’d never play for Italy again. That’s what the critics said when Giovinco made the big money move to the Big Smoke. Those critics were wrong.
His first recall by the Azzurri since November 2014 came at the end of August but a groin injury ruled Giovinco out of those matches. He got a second chance at the beginning of October with Italy taking on Azerbaijan and Norway in Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Giovinco came on as a substitute in both matches and was dangerous by all accounts. His trip back home was a success, but another massive fixture loomed.
Toronto FC could clinch their first playoff berth in franchise history with a result against the New York Red Bulls on October 14th at BMO Field. Their chances didn’t look great. The Red Bulls were the best team in the East and Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore were long shots to play after playing with the United States.
Even more of a long shot to to be a factor was Giovinco, who was still in Rome as the sun rose in Toronto. There were rumours he would be back in time for the game. Those rumours were true.
After a 10-hour flight Giovinco was on the bench, alongside his fellow designated players, as the match began. Late in the second half with the Reds nursing a one-goal lead, Giovinco came on to score the goal of the season, capping a remarkable 24-hour span for the league’s MVP.