TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore will miss the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference final after an independent panel turned down a request to overturn the American's red card, his MLS team said on Wednesday.
Altidore was sent off after an altercation with American midfielder Sacha Kljestan of the New York Red Bulls at halftime during the second leg of their semi-final playoff clash at Toronto 10 days ago.
"Ultimately the referees had given him a red card and so the burden of proof for us was to unequivocally prove that what we think and what we understand to have happened did happen," Toronto coach Greg Vanney told reporters.
"We weren't able to do that conclusively with the video because there were still some gaps in the video that don't give enough information for us to prove what we feel is the situation."
The decision means Toronto will be without their top two forwards when they visit Columbus Crew on Tuesday as Italian Sebastian Giovinco will also miss out after picking up two yellow cards against New York.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Toby Davis)