Just as he was finding his way, Minnesota United young striker Mason Toye’s road to the starting 11 will take a two-game detour after MLS’ disciplinary committee on Wednesday suspended him a second game and fined him an undisclosed amount for spitting on a FC Dallas player very late in Saturday’s game.
Toye received an automatic one-game suspension when the referee gave him a red card and game ejection on the spot. He was ineligible to play Wednesday against Colorado at Allianz Field and MLS’ review also suspended him for Saturday’s home game against Orlando City.
Toye spit on Dallas defender Reggie Cannon during a skirmish between players from both teams at midfield when Toye tried to put the ball back in play after the Toros scored a clinching goal in second-half stoppage time.
Toye apologized to his team, its fans, MLS and particularly to Cannon and the Dallas team Sunday on his Instagram account. He called his actions “distasteful and inexcusable” and a “really stupid mistake.” He added, “There is no place for it in the game of soccer” and said he didn’t intend to spit on Cannon.
Teammate Darwin Quintero immediately confronted him on the field. United head coach Adrian Heath, his assistants and the team’s veterans all later talked with Toye about it.
The suspension comes just as Toye, 20, started to find his scoring touch and his place in the team’s lineup. He had game-winning goals in two U.S. Open Cup games leading to the title game in Atlanta in two weeks. Included was the second half’s only goal in a 2-1 semifinal victory against Portland.
“The Mason situation is something he’s going to have to live with,” Heath said. “He said he’s sorry. He was so remorseful after the game. It’s going to be an expensive lesson for him, not only financially but obviously the one thing he wants more than anything is to play in the first team and that’s going to be taken away from him.”
After he rested many of his starters from a rugged schedule and the Texas heat Saturday in Dallas, Heath brought them back Wednesday for the first of what he considers two crucial home games this week: Saturday night’s game against Orlando City follows the Rapids’ visit.
Notable among the missing: veteran midfielder Ethan Finlay, who went to a sub’s role after scoring three goals in his last two games, and suspended Toye, of course.
“You have to look at everybody’s home-and-away schedule and the results at the end of the year,” Heath said. “Most teams pick up three-quarters of their points at home and we’ve been very, very good at home.”
• Newly signed defender Wilfried Moimbe-Tahrat is expected back from France on Thursday evening, in time for Friday training now that he has completed his immigration process. Young designated player Thomas Chacon remains in Uruguay while his process is finished, but he’s expected in Minnesota by the weekend or beginning of next week.
• The U.S. Open Cup was in the house Wednesday, providing United fans with photo opportunities from the Great Lawn to the suite level to field-side. It made the tour on its way to Atlanta, where Minnesota United will play Atlanta United for it in the championship game Aug. 27.
• Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck participated in Wednesday’s ceremonial coin toss. He brought his team to experience Allianz Field’s atmosphere; his players sat in the north end. The Gophers women’s soccer team was also in attendance.