DALLAS -- Mason Toye faces a reckoning.
Minnesota United’s second-year striker had just reached a new career high with a sweet game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Portland in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals Wednesday.
Then, Toye plummeted Saturday, Aug. 10, after he spit at FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon during Minnesota’s 5-3 loss in Texas on Saturday.
The first official ramificaiton was a red card that will suspend him from the Loons’ next MLS game against the Colorado Rapids at Allianz Field on Wednesday. The act also could mean Toye faces additional punishment or a fine from the MLS Disciplinarily Committee this week.
A real-time judgement came down immediately Saturday night. Once Toye spit, United teammate Darwin Quintero slapped at Toye’s arm and shouted at him in apparent disgust. Seconds later, veteran defensive midfielder Lawrence Olum got in Toye’s face. While no lips could be read, they clearly didn’t take kindly to the light Toye put the club in.
“If he has spat at him, then he will get everything he deserves,” United coach Adrian Heath said without having seen the replay immediately after the game. “Certainly, I won’t condone that kind of that behavior.”
Cannon described what he saw after the game.
“He loogied up and spit on me,” said Cannon, who made three starts for the U.S. men’s national team in the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer. “They’re concerned about my response towards something that is one of the most disrespectful things that you could do to a human being. … I wasn’t angry — well, obviously, I was angry — but I wasn’t fighting with the refs. No, I got spit on. It was snot and everything on my shirt, so I took it off to wipe it off.
“As for Mason Toye, I know that your attitude gets the best of you sometimes. Phenomenal player and I have the most respect for him, but you can’t do that to someone.”
Toye, 20, both apologized for his “distasteful” act and tried to put his spitting in context on Saturday.
“ Although it may not look like it, I had no intention of spitting on any player,” Toye wrote on Instagram. “However, I did spit and it did hit a player and because of that I will have to face the repercussions. It was a really stupid mistake and it’s one that I will most definitely learn from. Again, I am extremely sorry for my actions and hope for your forgiveness.”
Toye has scored four goals in 323 minutes in nine MLS games for Minnesota. The seventh pick in the 2018 MLS draft has added two game-winning goals in the Open Cup. That production has produced talk that Toye could be deserving of a call-up to the U.S. men’s national team or its youth under-23 side.