TORONTO—There’s no simple way to sum up Sebastian Giovinco’s debut MLS season.
There's always the facts: The Italian international nicknamed "Atomic Ant" set a league record for combined goals (22) and assists (16) in a season and led Toronto FC to their first league postseason appearance.
The MLS Golden Boot winner needed little time to adjust to MLS, indicating his atypical arrival with every one of 33 stellar appearances. Yet he failed to lead TFC to postseason success: They were ousted from the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs after just one game, a 3-0 Knockout Round rout at the hands of rival Montreal Impact.
“Personally, [I'm] very happy, it has been a very good season; a great season,” said Giovinco, through a translator, at Toronto FC's close-of-season press conference Tuesday. “But soccer is a team sport, and as a team [we] didn't really perform because the goal was to go on, and the way [we] played the last game was not the best.”
There's also no denying that the MLS MVP front-runner earned a special place in the hearts of TFC fans, who marveled at his devastating style with each feint, each run and each of those often spectacular goals.
“The support is amazing,” Giovinco said. “I received similar at Juventus; [they are] known for their huge support. Next season, I hope to be even better to make the city happy, thanking them.”
Such impressive production set new career highs for Giovinco, resulting in a return to the Italian national team, but this inaugural year in North America was also a chance to taste life outside his native land.
“[I'm] very happy with the experience,” Giovinco said. “The goal is to get better and better every year.”
With the offseason ahead, Giovinco said he will remain in Toronto for the next month before returning to Italy in December. Is he contemplating an overseas loan to stay sharp? "No, not at the moment."
Aside from his on-field excellence, Giovinco has been hard at work learning English, speaking in the foreign tongue for the first time with the media.
“My English is better,” he demonstrated, “but I am studying to improve. Maybe next year.”
Though difficult to fathom after this strong a debut, Giovinco has already set his eyes on even bigger prizes – like MLS Cup.
“[I'm] very happy for [my] personal season, happy for the award, the Golden Boot," Giovinco said. "But [I'm] thinking of winning new awards next year."