Sacha Kljestan and Jozy Altidore tussle in the first half. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
TORONTO — One of the ugliest, if not the most ugly, incident in Major League Soccer playoff history occurred at halftime at BMO Field Sunday night.
U.S. national team teammates Sacha Kljestan and Jozy Altidore were red carded for fighting in the tunnel prior to the start of the second half of the Red Bulls’ 1-0 win over Toronto FC. The result eliminated the Red Bulls from the MLS playoffs, as the Canadian side advanced on the away goals rule.
They were given the heave-ho after tussling on the field as Kljestan shoved Altidore, a former Red Bull, to the ground. They were awarded yellow cards for that incident.
After the game, Kljestan claiming Altidore shoved him into a wall. “I have a conscience,” he said.
In an interview with TSN, Altidore said: “He tried to come and get at me from behind, choked and pushed me. And he found out the hard way that he shouldn’t do something like that.”
In Toronto FC’s 2-1 first-leg win at Red Bull Arena Monday night, the two players had words and some body contact as Altidore was replaced.