Toronto appeals Jozy Altidore red card, president calls Red Bulls 'disgraceful'

Toronto FC has appealed the red card Jozy Altidore received following a scuffle with New York Red Bulls players in the tunnel at halftime of Sunday's MLS playoff game.

Altidore and Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan were both handed red cards for violent conduct, after first being booked for clashing in the first half.

Kljestan said Altidore "shoved me into the wall," but the Toronto forward said Kljestan "tried to come get me from behind, choked me, pushed me."

Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley said on Sunday that the Red Bulls should not have been anywhere near their opponents in the tunnel, as the visiting team takes a different path to their locker room, and club president Bill Manning has now called New York's actions "disgraceful."

"I think the security footage speaks for itself," Manning told the Toronto Sun. "It clearly shows the Red Bulls entered our private space."

Manning said Altidore was already in the Toronto locker room when the most notable scuffle occurred, and also questioned the presence of Red Bulls defender Aurellien Collin, who was not in the active squad for the game.

The appeal will now be considered by an independent review panel consisting of one member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, one member of the Canadian Soccer Association and one member of the Professional Referee Organization.

"We don't know how they can review it and not question the decision," Manning told the Sun.

Toronto held on to eliminate the Red Bulls and advance to the Eastern Conference final, where the Reds will face Columbus Crew SC beginning Nov. 21.

After his red card, Altidore will be automatically suspended for at least the first leg unless the appeal is approved.

Altidore scored 15 goals in 27 MLS games this season, but did not score in the playoff tie against New York.