Up and Atom! Reds “unveil” Giovinco
Well that was an odd little presser wasn’t it? It wasn’t the dog and pony show of the Jermain Defoe/Michael Bradley event a year ago. It wasn’t the “we gotta clear the room in five minutes for the maid” production they put on for Jozy Altidore a week ago. Actually it wasn’t like many player introductions we’ve seen – as it didn’t contain an actual player.
But did it really matter?
Yes it was all very silly – and at times downright cringeworthy – watching Tim Bezbatchenko, Greg Vanney and an MLSE suit with the country club name “Hoppy” hold court sans player, but it’s still a pretty great announcement. The Reds have officially landed their man, Italian international attacker Sebastian Giovinco and with it, pulled off one of the biggest player acquisition shockers in Major League Soccer history. No offense Mista.
While most of the football universe already knew that Giovinco (Or “Seba” as T-Bez so annoyingly refused to stop calling him) was headed to the “Grande Nord Bianco”, the press conference wasn’t a complete waste of time. After enjoying an excited video message from the player himself and taking the time to shill for season ticket purchases, Bezbatchenko did feed the gathered scribes with a few interesting tidbits:
- Giovinco will not be joining Toronto until his contract ends with Juventus in July. The Bosman free signing means TFC does not, as previously reported, need to send a transfer fee to the Turin side. Sadly this does open up Giovinco to another four months of potentially harmful and tiring club football depending on how much time Juve plays him.
- The club has (begin eye rolling now) learned some life lessons about acquiring these big-name signings after DefoeGate. Assuring everyone that the club made Giovinco “meet them halfway”, Bezbatchenko tried to paint a picture of a family-oriented player who is fully on board for his MLS adventure and perhaps quietly hinted at the Defoe deal as one based in marketing reports instead of scouting reports.
- Due to Giovinco’s arrival in July, Toronto FC will not be considered as carrying 4 DP’s until that time. Of course if the new MLS CBA does not add a fourth DP slot then Gilberto will be headed to less-red pastures. For those reading between the lines sharply – and hearing few references to Gilberto today – you are free to believe the whispers that Ol’ Gil will be headed out of BMO Field sooner rather than later no matter what.
So there you go foot and ball fans. A bloody, big, tiny (5’5″ jokes are the new Plata) deal that is meant to cleanse the palate of all who support The Unmighty Reds. Yes the monies being thrown around are all a bit nutty and TFC has some heavy cap tied down to few bodies for the foreseeable future, but I’d venture a guess that two weeks ago when Jermain Defoe was still officially our petulant property – you’d have taken Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco as replacements.
There is plenty of time to wring our hands about this deal going sour. Many will justifiably worry that Giovinco will not settle in a new city, in a new country and in a wacky new league. Many of you will fear that in a year he will be transferred to Padova in exchange for the MLS rights to Alexei Lalas’ 1994 orange beard. And that’s fair. It’s what they’ve done to us. For now though, we can enjoy that TFC went a little “video game club creator mode” and made a splash that was heard around much of the football world.
Now… about that defence.