Jozy Altidore has seen his appeal against the red card he received against the New York Red Bulls rejected and will miss at least the first leg of Toronto FC’s Eastern Conference final against the Columbus Crew.
Altidore and Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan were both dismissed for an alteracation in the tunnel at half-time of the second leg of the Eastern Conference semi-final at BMO Field.
The sending off will now go to MLS’ disciplinary committee, which will decide whether Altidore will miss more than one match. The decision on the appeal was made by an independent panel, with TFC informed of the outcome on Wednesday morning.
Toronto play the first leg away in Columbus on Tuesday night.
“Ultimately, the referee had given him a red card so the burden of proof for us was to unequivocally prove that what we think and what we understand to have happened, happened,” Greg Vanney said.
“We weren’t able to do that conclusively with the video because there was still little gaps with the video that don’t give enough information, I guess, for us to be able to prove what we feel is the situation.”
Vanney explained that the red card was attributed by the match officials to violent conduct in an area of the tunnel that was not shown conclusively in security footage.
“I knew it was always going to be a challenge for us,” Vanney added. “The question was did we have enough information, did we have enough footage to be able to change not just the opinions but the facts of the situation. We didn’t.
“In my mind I knew it was always going to be a difficult process for us, but we felt like we had enough that it was worth us giving it a real shot. Based on the video we have and the accounts we have our version is correct, it’s not wrong, and that’s what we were going on.”
Vanney said that he did not know what decision had been made with regards to Kljestan’s red card or the Red Bulls’ conduct.
Of Altidore’s reaction to his suspension, the coach added: “He’s frustrated. He’s going about his business.
“I haven’t had a long discussion [with him] since I found out other than he’s frustrated with the whole process, but we have to move on.”