Toronto FC appeals Altidore red-card suspension

Dan Hamilton
The U.S. national team striker was ejected from Sunday's conference semifinal second leg after getting into a scuffle at halftime

Toronto FC has appealed a red card shown to striker Jozy Altidore at halftime of Sunday's 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls.

Team officials confirmed they will be presenting video evidence to MLS that they believe will exonerate Altidore and lead to a reversal of the ejection. A red card carries with it an automatic one-game suspension, which would see Altidore miss the first leg of the Eastern Conference final against the Columbus Crew on Nov. 21.

"We think the security footage speaks for itself," TFC president Bill Manning told reporters. 

A scuffle ensued at halftime of Sunday's game after Altidore and Red Bulls player Sacha Kljestan were involved in an on-field incident during the first half that saw both players receive a yellow card. The halftime incident, which took place just outside the TFC locker room and involved several players and staff from both teams, resulted in Altidore and Kljestan each receiving a second yellow and missing the remainder of the match.

In his post-game comments on Sunday, Toronto head coach Greg Vanney accused the Red Bulls of instigating the incident and hinted at security cameras in the area that could back his claim. On Monday, Vanney reiterated his take on the sequence of events, and confirmed that video is being presented to the league.

“There is ongoing discussion and a collection of as much evidence as possible, and we’ll see where that goes,” Vanney said. “All that stuff is being collected as part of an ongoing look at what might have transpired in that space."

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TFC is facing the prospect of meeting Columbus without its two top scorers, as striker Sebastian Giovinco is also set to serve a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation after the Italian picked up his second caution of the postseason in the second half of Sunday's game.

Vanney hopes that enough evidence has been presented that will allow him to utilize Altidore, who scored 15 goals in the regular season. 

“It’s in the hands of the league now, and we are giving them as much information as we have, and everybody’s account of who was in the area, and it will go from there.”

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