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Toronto FC coach Vanney says Altidore’s ‘love tap’ much ado about nothing

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore (17) reacts after missing a scoring chance in the second half of a 3-2 loss to Montreal Impact in the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference Championship at Olympic Stadium.

Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports

In the buildup to Toronto FC's second goal against the Montreal Impact on Tuesday night, a shove by Toronto striker Jozy Altidore seemed to send defender Victor Cabrera flying.

Two passes later, Michael Bradley scored to reduce the Impact lead to 3-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final.

"Love tap, man. Love tap," a smiling Altidore said Thursday of the contact with Cabrera.

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Asked if he had been doing more curls, the burly Altidore – referencing Cabrera – said, "He needs to do more curls, that's what it looks like."

Referee Juan Guzman, who did not issue a card all night, saw nothing wrong.

"To be fair, he let us play," Altidore said. "That's good on him to kind of let the game flow. Maybe some cards could have been shown, but it could have gone either way, right?"

Toronto coach Greg Vanney clearly would have liked to have seen Impact defender Hassoun Camara carded for an early challenge from behind on Sebastian Giovinco. He said the assistant referee and fourth official both told him it should have been a yellow.

A Laurent Ciman tackle on Armando Cooper also deserved a caution, he said – with the assistant referee also agreeing.

"Regardless of the situation, regardless of the player, if they're yellow cards, they're yellow cards," Vanney said. "If they were at our guys, then they should be yellow cards."

Asked about the Altidore and Cabrera contact, Vanney said: "If it's a foul, then make the call, then that's the way it is. But I think there's a difference between a yellow card and a foul. Those are choices. It's possible it could be a foul but I think he had let some things go over the course of the game."

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Vanney suggested the Altidore play was not high on the scheme of things when it came to controversy in the game.

Game 2 of the series goes Wednesday at BMO Field.

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