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Replacement refs bring varying experience
by Paul Kennedy, March 7th, 2014 3:18PM
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[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The replacement referees hired for MLS's weekend openers to replace the PSRA referees PRO locked out in their labor dispute on Friday include two current FIFA referees from Puerto Rico, former FIFA referees from Greece and Ireland and two former MLS referees. The other two men in the middle on Saturday have little experience at the top level.

Saturday:
Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City, 3 pm ET (NBCSN)
Referee: Mark Geiger (15 MLS games in 2013)
Replacement: Alan Kelly.
Kelly, an Irish international referee, was hired by PRO to work in its training program and is in the process of moving his family to the Boston area.

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, 7 pm ET
Referee: Drew Fischer (16 MLS games in 2013)
Replacement: Andres Pfefferkorn.
PRO assignments list Pfefferkorn as having been a first assistant for one NASL game and fourth referee for another in 2013. He also did a second-round Open Cup match last year.

FC Dallas vs. Montreal Impact, 8:30 pm ET
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic (15 MLS games in 2013)
Replacement: Jorge Luna.
Luna worked extensively as 4th official for MLS matches in 2012. Only game of note he whistled was a FC Dallas-Tigres Rio Grande Plate friendly in 2011.

Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution, 8:30 pm ET
Referee: Ismail Elfath (17 games in 2013)
Replacement: Ramon Hernandez.
Hernandez worked 22 MLS matches in 2008-12.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 pm ET
Referee: Allen Chapman (22 games)
Replacement: Abbey Okulaja.
Okulaja worked 46 MLS matches in five seasons (2008-12).

Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union, 10:30 pm ET
Referee: Hilario Grajeda (24 MLS games in 2013)
Replacement: Ioannis Stavridis
Stavridis, a U.S. resident, did 23 Greek league games in 2012-13, handing out nine red cards and 133 yellow cards. He is a former FIFA referee.
 
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 pm ET
Referee: Silviu Petrescu (19 MLS games in 2013)
Replacement: Javier Santos.
Santos is a veteran FIFA referee from Puerto Rico. He did the USA-Canada qualifier that sent the USA to the 2013 U-20 World Cup. He's done four World Cup qualifiers and eight Concacaf Champions league matches over last four years.

Sunday:
Chivas USA vs. Chicago Fire
Referee: Juan Guzman (16 MLS games in 2013)
Replacement: William Anderson.
Anderson was named a FIFA referee from Puerto Rico in 2012. He did one Concacaf Champions league match last fall. His full national team experience in the middle is limited to four games involving Caribbean teams in 2012.


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