Toronto FC Faces Fallout After Post-Game Melee in NYCFC Clash

Toronto FC post-game melee

Toronto FC players Richie Laryea and Sean Johnson, alongside head coach John Herdman, face suspensions following a post-game altercation with New York City FC, as announced by the MLS disciplinary committee on Wednesday.

Both Laryea and Johnson will sit out Wednesday’s match in Nashville due to their involvement in the incident, which occurred after Saturday night’s game in Toronto. Additionally, Toronto FC forward Prince Owusu and New York City FC defender Strahinja Tanasijevic received red cards during the match and will serve one-game suspensions each.

The league statement hinted at possible further disciplinary actions, stating, “The MLS Disciplinary Committee continues to assess the incident and those involved for further discipline and will announce complete findings and sanctions at a later date.”

Laryea, who is currently recovering from hamstring surgery, was present as a spectator at BMO Field during the altercation.

Previously, the NYCFC game resulted in suspensions for Toronto’s Federico Bernardeschi and Kevin Long. Bernardeschi was sent off after receiving a second yellow for confronting referee Lukasz Szpala at the final whistle, while Long earned a one-match ban due to yellow card accumulation.

Following the match, a confrontation erupted involving approximately 30 players and staff members, with Johnson, Owusu, and Tanasijevic heavily involved. Toronto captain Jonathan Osorio alleged that Johnson, a former NYCFC captain, was head-butted during the altercation.

Herdman’s involvement included a physical altercation with New York coach Nick Cushing as he exited the field, prompting a NYCFC staff member to intervene.

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The altercation stems from tensions dating back to a previous match on March 16, where Toronto FC players claim a 19-year-old teammate was punched by Cushing during halftime in the stadium tunnel. While not explicitly named, the description matches Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, who scored in the March game.

Cushing has denied the allegations, and Herdman stated that the incident wasn’t captured on camera.

Toronto FC will also be without Osorio, Marshall-Rutty, Shane O’Neill, and Brandon Servania for Wednesday’s match due to injuries.

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