Sunday’s TFC match didn’t feature much scoring, but it did include a halftime melee
Toronto FC lost 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls at BMO Field on Sunday. But that’s okay, because they still scored enough goals at Red Bull Arena in the first leg of the two-match semifinal to move on to the next round. (It’s called the away goals rule, and yeah, it’s a bit complicated if you don’t watch soccer often.) But because of what happened on (and off) the pitch last night, TFC could be without some important regulars when they travel to Columbus on Nov. 21 to begin a two-match Eastern Conference Championship against the Columbus Crew.
See, last night’s match was downright ornery, with on-field scuffles punctuating an otherwise dreary first half.
And then, at halftime, this was the scene near the TFC locker room:
The footage begins mid-melee. Pushing. Shoving. Lots of barking. Police officers. TFC captain Michael Bradley trying to play peacemaker. A few F-bombs. A child (?!), at the 1:45 mark, shouting “This is our house!” And, finally, a “TFC!” chant. The Reds’ Jozy Altidore and New York’s Sacha Kljestan were handed red cards for their part in the incident, even if their involvement is unclear from the clip above.
TFC say their man is innocent, and will be appealing the red card, which carries a one-game suspension. For the moment, however, Altidore is set to miss a critical match next week in Columbus. More troublingly, so is free-kick maestro, beer drinker and the team’s all-around best player, Giovinco, who received his second yellow card in as many matches and will be punished for yellow-card accumulation. (Note: this is a bad rule.)