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Leg injury forces Sebastian Giovinco out of match against Philadelphia

Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco kicks a free kick against the Philadelphia Union during the first half at Talen Energy Stadium.

Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

It's a been a rough start to the MLS season for Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco.

The Italian striker missed a penalty in the season-opening 0-0 tie at Real Salt Lake City. And, on Saturday, he had to be helped off the field in Philadelphia late in the first half after taking a blow to the leg in a 2-2 tie with the Union.

The five-foot-four, 130-pound Giovinco went down clutching his right thigh in the 43rd minute after a challenge by six-foot-four 210 pound defender Oguchi Onyewu, whose knee caught the Italian as he went for the ball.

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Giovinco, clearly in pain, was helped off the field by the team trainer and defender Justin Morrow.

"He's OK. He's sore," coach Greg Vanney said after the game. "It was a contusion in the IT band there on the side of the leg and when that gets swollen and tightened up, it's tough to loosen up and move. We'll see how he progresses over the next couple of days but he's, for sure, sore right now."

The IT (iliotibial) band attaches to the knee and helps stabilize and move the joint.

Toronto (0-0-2) plays at Vancouver (0-1-1) next Saturday, a long plane ride that will do likely little for a sore leg.

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