- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 9, 2016

TORONTO (AP) - Toronto FC players and coaches reacted strongly to Italian national team coach Gian Piero Ventura’s comment that he didn’t call up Sebastian Giovinco because he “plays in a league that doesn’t count for much.”

“It’s not a fair comment,” Toronto midfielder Jonathan Osorio said Wednesday. “I think maybe it’s a comment coming from somebody that doesn’t know too much about this league or doesn’t have too much information about. I think if he did know more, he would take back what he said. I feel for Seba. Everybody knows he deserves to be there.”

Toronto coach Greg Vanney dismissed the comment as ignorance of the Major League Soccer.

“At the end of the day Sebastian is a great player regardless of where you put him and regardless of what league it is,” Vanney said. “A great player is a great player.”

Giovinco had 17 goals and 15 assists in the regular season despite missing six games because of injury. He had a hat trick in Toronto’s 5-0 playoff victory over New York City FC on Sunday. Toronto will face Montreal in the Eastern Conference finals, with the two-game series set to open Tuesday, Nov. 22 in Montreal.

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