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MLS clears New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing

"No additional suspensions or fines" after league investigation into assault claim made by Toronto FC head coach John Herdman following on-field altercation.

New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing |

Major League Soccer just issued a statement clearing New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing after Toronto FC head coach John Herdman accused him of assaulting a player on March 16 at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx.

Herdman made the accusation that Cushing "punched" a 19-year-old Toronto player at halftime in the tunnel leading from the field at Yankee Stadium almost two months after the alleged assault, in a postgame press conference on May 11 after losing a testy match to NYCFC that ended in an on-field confrontation between the two teams.

Herdman was later suspended by MLS for his conduct following the May 12 game at BMO Field.

All in all, six suspensions were handed out because of that game — five to Toronto, and one to New York City. Toronto forward Federico Bernardeschi received a second yellow card and a sending-off in stoppage time, shortly before the members of both teams confronted each other on the field. Then Toronto goalkeeper Sean Johnson and forward Prince Owusu, and NYCFC defender Strahinja Tanasijević received red cards after the game ended. Upon later review by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, Toronto player Richie Laryea was suspended, and the suspensions to Owusu and Tanasijević were extended.

Today's statement from MLS follows a formal request made public by New York City on May 13 asking the league to investigate Herdman's allegation. Cushing categorically denied that he punched any Toronto FC player or staff member.

The full statement is below.

NEW YORK (June 6, 2024) On March 16, there was an altercation between players and staff members of New York City Football Club and Toronto FC that started on the field and continued into the stadium tunnels.  During the next meeting of the two clubs on May 11, the teams engaged in an altercation that led to several player and coach suspensions.   
The League conducted a review of both incidents and determined that players and staff from both teams involved in the altercation exhibited poor judgment and engaged in behavior contradictory to MLS values. While no additional suspensions or fines have been issued, head coaches and executives from both clubs were required to meet with MLS Commissioner Don Garber to discuss League expectations for behavior and conduct.
John Herdman: Toronto player “punched by the coach” of NYCFC
Here’s everything we know about the allegation made by the Toronto FC head coach against New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing.
New York City FC asks MLS to investigate assault allegation
New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing categorically denies that he punched any Toronto FC player or staff member.
Toronto FC head coach John Herdman suspended by MLS
Sean Johnson and Richie Laryea are also suspended as the fallout continues to impact players and staff after Toronto FC’s ill-tempered reaction to New York City FC’s win.
Strahinja Tanasijević suspended after Toronto FC confrontation
Toronto’s Prince Owusu will also serve a suspension for his actions in the brawl that followed New York City FC’s win at BMO Field.
Strahinja Tanasijević suspended additional match for Toronto melee
The New York City defender is suspended for a second match and fined for his role in the on-field ugliness at BMO Field, with Toronto’s Richie Laryea also receiving extra discipline.