Very few people know what happened in the tunnel during the half-time interval of Toronto FC’s match against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
Two of those who do are Jozy Altidore and Sacha Kljestan, who were at the heart of it. Both players were sent off for their actions in what was apparently a melee outside the TFC locker room, but have different accounts of what went down.
After Kljestan told reporters after the match that Altidore had shoved him into a wall, his USA teammate countered on Twitter.
In a since-deleted tweet, Altidore wrote: “Yo @SachaKljestan why you snitchin bro? you tried to pull up on me while my back was turned and almost got that work. Safe flight.”
TFC are hoping to find video footage that supports their version of events, which is that Altidore was “ambushed” - as Greg Vanney put it - by a number of Red Bulls players and staff. They believe that their striker may have his sending off rescinded and be spared a suspension - which could run longer than one game if it is judged he was guilty of violent conduct - if they can put that footage in front of MLS.
If Altidore’s red card stands, he will miss at least the first leg of the Eastern Conference final against the Columbus Crew, which will be played at Mapfre Stadium. The league’s disciplinary committee could decide to add to that ban if they deem it appropriate.
Toronto know for sure they will be without Sebastian Giovinco for that match after the Italian picked up a second yellow card of the postseason on Sunday.