Montreal's Schallibaum and Toronto's Eckersley involved in postgame scuffle
If Toronto vs. Montreal wasn’t already a heated rivalry before the Impact’s 2-1 victory over TFC on Saturday afternoon, that heat has now been ratcheted up a few degrees after the latest 401 Derby.
Fireworks erupted between Impact manager Marco Schällibaum and Toronto defender Richard Eckersley at the end of the match, with Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen having to separate the two men just as the TFC manager and his team went over to congratulate a record contingent of Reds supporters for making the trek to Montreal's Olympic Stadium.
“I didn’t know what happened,” Nelsen told MLSSoccer.com following the match. “I just saw that all of a sudden there was a bit of a scuffle. It wasn’t very nice, but I didn’t really see what happened. We’ll sort it out.”
Schällibaum told reporters after the match that he felt a TFC player had disrespected him during the game, but he also declined to name which player had raised his ire.
"That's okay. I spoke to him. I'm a person that respects all the rules,” Schällibaum responded. “He said something to me one time, two times, and that's not good."
“Who was it? That's okay. I spoke with him. It's OK. No problem," Schällibaum added.
According to Eckersley, it was the Impact manager who had been disrespectful during the game, with the TFC fullback frustrated with the opposition coach for allegedly having taken the ball destined for a Toronto throw-in and putting it behind his back.
“He’s disrespecting the players and disrespecting the play by hiding the ball from a player,” Eckersley said.
It's the latest incident between the two clubs, with former Montreal manager Jesse Marsch and ex-Toronto assistant Bob de Klerk having words after a May 9 Canadian Championship match won by TFC.
Between league fixtures and the upcoming Canadian Championship tournament, Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact will play each other four more times in 2013.