June 16th, 2024

Toronto FC’s Lorenzo Insigne misses Philadelphia game for birth of his child in Italy

By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press on May 29, 2024.

Italian star Lorenzo Insigne did not travel with Toronto FC for its game Wednesday at the Philadelphia Union to remain with his wife for the birth of the child. Insigne plays against FC Cincinnati during an MLS soccer match in Cincinnati on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jeff Dean

While Toronto FC prepared for its game Wednesday at the Philadelphia Union, Italian star Lorenzo Insigne was an ocean away attending the birth of son Mattia.

Wife Genoveffa (Jenny) Darone-Insigne had the baby in Naples, the family’s longtime home before making the move to Toronto and Major League Soccer in June 2022.

Insigne released a photo on social media, showing a blue-swaddled baby holding an adult finger.

“Welcome to the world, our love,” said the accompanying text.

The 32-year-old Insigne and his wife already have two sons.

“Toronto FC extends their heartfelt congratulations to the Insigne family on the arrival of their baby boy and wishes them all the best during this special time,” the club said in a short release announcing that Insigne was unavailable for the Philadelphia game.

Insigne had a scare in August 2022 as Toronto was preparing to return home from a 4-3 win in Nashville. News of a “family health situation” after the team boarded its charter prompted TFC to delay the flight so the Italian could get more information. The former Napoli captain subsequently pulled out of the MLS all-star skills competition in Minneapolis but returned to training later that week.

A month later, he missed training to deal with what was described as “a personal family situation.” He subsequently revealed his wife had suffered a miscarriage, saying the couple had “lost a daughter, who will remain in our hearts forever.”

Insigne, in his third season with Toronto, is the second-highest-paid player in MLS this season at US$15.4 million. Only Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi makes more at US$20.5 million, according to the MLS Players Association.

After missing eight games in all competitions with a hamstring injury, Insigne returned to action May 11 and made two cameos off the bench before starting against CF Montreal on May 18.

Insigne was a force on the weekend in Toronto’s 4-3 loss to visiting FC Cincinnati, scoring from the penalty spot, seeing another goal negated by offside and striking the woodwork with a swerving shot from well outside the penalty box.

“That shot against the crossbar, maybe only (Lionel) Messi could do something like that in this league. That was magic,” Toronto coach John Herdman said after the game.

Insigne has three goals and four assists in nine league appearances this season.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on X platform, formerly known as Twitter

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2024.

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