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MLS increases Kljestan ban over playoffs scuffle

New York (AFP) – Major League Soccer has doubled Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan’s ban for a half-time incident in the MLS Cup playoffs last month to two games.

MLS said on Friday that it had concluded a thorough internal investigation of the bust-up during a game between the Red Bulls and Toronto FC and issued Kljestan with an additional game suspension and an increased fine “as a result of an interaction with stadium security personnel”.

Kljestan and Toronto’s Jozy Altidore, US national team-mates, got into a shoving match as players departed the field at half-time.

Both received red cards, and later appeals of the punishments were unsuccessful.

Toronto’s 1-0 victory in that November 5 game saw them advance to the Eastern Conference championships.

Altidore served his one-game suspension in the first leg of that round, and returned to score the game-winner in the second leg against Columbus Crew as Toronto advanced to the MLS Cup final — in which they downed Seattle to seal their first title.

Kljestan, meanwhile, is slated to serve his two-game ban during the first two matches of the 2018 season.

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