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TFC survives Red Bulls push following Altidore, Kljestan red cards

Emotional. Frantic. Tactical. Physical.

The second leg of the Eastern Conference semi-final between Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls was everything you could ask for in a knockout match.

In the end, the Red Bulls won the battle, but lost the war with a 1-0 victory at BMO field Sunday afternoon following a 2-1 loss on home turf in the opening leg.

The first half went about according to plan for TFC. Coming into the match, the objective for TFC was to limit the Red Bulls opportunities and look for a quick strike on the counter. Despite not being able to find the back of the net, TFC held the Red Bulls to zero shots in the half.

While offensively the game left a lot to be desired, it was not without it’s own brand of fireworks. Three players earned yellow cards in the final 11 minutes of the first half.

First, Jozy Altidore and Sacha Kljestan each got a yellow following a dust up after a foul on Giovinco. Altidore fell to the ground theatrically after Kljestan put his hands on the striker. Both players were sent off before the start of the second half for additional behavioral issues in the tunnel.

Michael Bradley earned a yellow card for dissent at the halftime whistle.

Emotions ran high on the sidelines as well. Jesse Marsch and Greg Vanney needed to be separated by security guards while walking into the locker room at halftime.

Daniel Royer forced the issue and opened the scoring for the Red Bulls. The first shot the Red Bulls took in the match came from 40 yards out from the center of the field. Royer sent the ball forward, and it deflected off of Bradley Wright-Phillips and found the back of the net in the 53rd minute, tying the game on aggregate with TFC leading on away goals. The goal was Wright-Phillips 100th in all competitions for the Red Bulls.

TFC will now take on the winner of Columbus Crew and New York City FC. They will head into the first leg missing Sebastian Giovinco and Altidore due to suspension.

Man of the Match

Aaron Long did a masterful job defending Giovinco on the afternoon keeping the diminutive dynamo at bay.

Moment of the Match

The dust-up between Jozy Altidore and Sacha Kljestan will have major ramifications heading into the next round.

Match to Forget

Jozy Altidore did very little to endear himself on the afternoon, and his dismissal could very well cost the team in the next round.


  1. Ironic, this is the same man that decries a lack of “loyalty” by supporters of one of his previous 7 clubs. Only to lack any form of “loyalty” to a fellow international of the same country by diving, theatrics and antics unbecoming of an American.
    Of course, I have no problem with fellow Americans being competitive with one another, but I think given the context it’s quite amusing. Altidore isn’t really doing himself any favors for someone that appears intent of being the recipient of goodwill.

    • yep. when someone gets accused of their religion making them un-american, a sensible response is, “did that soccer player dive? well then he’s asking for it.”

      • yep. when someone gets accused of their religion making them un-american

        What on Earth is this in reference to?

      • Presumably, you’re a grown man. Firing off statements with no context or direct reference is befitting of a school girl.

        If you intend on making a direct response to my post with the intent of disputing it, discounting its validity or simply providing additional commentary to provide a broader picture do the work on your own. You’re too old to be coy and bashful, Nate.

      • “If you intend on making a direct response to my post with the intent of disputing it, discounting its validity or simply providing additional commentary to provide a broader picture do the work on your own.”

        nope, i’ve got better stuff to do. or at least, stuff that i get paid to do.

        speaking of school girls, my grade-school daughters at least know how to use google. it’s not hard!

      • Renowned? How so, like there’s others in the league claiming he’s a bad winner / loser, play acting, or other? Honest question, would like to see sources.

  2. Not sure Jozy can either excuse or even apologize for what he did. If it costs Toronto a place in the final, TFC should shop him.

    • Doesnt sound like he is planning on doing either..

      “He tried to come and get at me from behind, choked and pushed me,” Altidore said. “And he found out the hard way that he shouldn’t do something like that.”

  3. Did somebody slip something in Altidore’s water? Offensively he was his usual do little self but today we say a new twist. Jozy the punk. First he steps in to protect Giovinco after he got into a tiff after one of his many dives. As part of the mess after the Giovinco thing, he gets into it with Kljestan and when Kljestan lighty pushes him away…as if to say stop it…. he goes down like he was sucker punched, trying to get Kljestan ejected. Replay shows not enough of a push to knock anybody down. PUNK! Finally, something happened in the tunnel at half time and both Jozy and Kljestan were red carded. For Sacha it matters little. For Toronto, they will now miss Jozy and Giovinco in the next game. Not good for Toronto and poor judgement for Altidore, not that he’s that important to them.

    BTW – I watched both Altidore and Bradley closely the whole game and IMO, US Soccer needs to move on from both of them. Neither runs much and there are simply better options at the NAT level


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