Jair Marrufo named MLS Ref of the Year

[MLS AWARDS] Jair Marrufo, one of the U.S. Soccer's four full-time referees in the program launched last year, has been named 2008 MLS Referee of the Year. Kermit Quisenberry was named the MLS Assistant Referee of the Year.

In 2007, Marrufo became one of four referees, including Terry Vaughn, Baldomero Toledo and Ricardo Salazar, who were installed as part of U.S. Soccer's full-time referee program.

In addition to whistling in MLS, Marrufo also refereed at the Olympics in China, where he was the man in the middle of the quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands. Quisenberry was also part of the U.S. refereeing crew that traveled to Beijing.

"I've been working for a long time but I think from since last year, becoming a full-time referee, getting nominated in 2007 and then winning this year, shows that the U.S. Soccer full-time referee program is working," said Marrufo, who has been a licensed referee since 1996. "Dedicating yourself to refereeing allows you to focus on becoming better, and I think U.S. Soccer's program has helped tremendously in my career, both in MLS and out of the country."

Jair Marrufo, 31, has been a MLS ref since 2002 referee and a FIFA referee since 2007. His father, Antonio Marrufo was a FIFA referee from Mexico.

Jair Marrufo is on the list of 38 referees to potentially referee the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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