Greg Vanney stoked the fires of the upcoming Giovani dos Santos vs. Sebastian Giovinco matchup when he called his striker more attack-minded than Giovani.
When Toronto FC come up against the LA Galaxy, they will be facing one of the league’s best strikers in Giovani dos Santos. Ever since Sebastian Giovinco entered the MLS, it’s been hard for opposing teams to find a player that can cancel out his goalscoring threat, but in Giovani dos Santos, the LA Galaxy may have just found his equal.
Giovinco has had the privilege of playing for Juventus in Serie A, and he’s been able to carry his experience over to the MLS to a great degree of success. However, dos Santos also has lots of experience in Europe, having played in La Liga for most of his career, and has been able to showcase his talent Stateside with 9 goals in 22 MLS appearances.
Both also got snubbed from international duty, but for totally different reasons. Italy boss Antonio Conte rejected Giovinco and Andrea Pirlo for playing in a league that has games during the Euros, while dos Santos was offered a call-up to Mexico but rejected it, presumably to help the Galaxy.
Even though Toronto FC and LA Galaxy’s success so far is based on a team-wide effort, their two names naturally get brought up first. But with Jozy Altidore injured as well as Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes on international duty, the onus will fall on these two to carry their team’s attacking play. The two are very like-minded players when it comes to their style of play and stature, and all eyes will be on them in what will be the first time that they play against each other.
After a media session with reporters, Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney spoke in depth about how Giovani dos Santos compares to the league’s reigning MVP, and offered a case for why his striker is better:
On the dos Santos-Giovinco comparison, Vanney had this to say:
I think Seba is a little more of a [straight-up] forward in terms of his attacking thoughts and his mindset and his runs in terms of quickly getting behind back-lines and setting guys up.
I don’t think they’re so dissimilar, their statures are not so far apart, they shift into pockets and get themselves on the turn, and they’re quick to get going forward before big centre-backs can get a hold of them, so they’re shifty in that way.
I think Seba’s a bit more of an out-and-out forward than dos Santos is, there’s a bit more of a forward-midfielder blend that’s maybe just a touch different.
It’s tough to argue with what he says here, but with five goals in seven matches, dos Santos’ goalscoring ratio is currently better than Giovinco’s. However, he gets help from guys like Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes while Giovinco practically carries the offense on his own. However, despite the weapons each striker has at his disposal, dos Santos only has one assist compared to Giovinco’s five.
LA has been the best offensive team in the league thus far, but now that most of their primary attacking weapons are gone, it will be interesting to see how they can contain and match Giovinco’s scoring. They might find it harder to come by goals than they have all season, especially when they’re matched up against Toronto FC’s centre-backs.
But if one player can match up well against Toronto, it’s dos Santos. And if one player can cancel out LA’s scoring, it’s Giovinco. When Greg Vanney called Galaxy vs. Toronto FC an event that showcases the best the league has to offer, this is what he had in mind, and it’ll be a delight to watch these two compete against each other.