Image: Referee Kevin Stott (pictured holding ball) is on duty in week 32
Drew Fischer gets MLS Week 32 under way, refereeing Seattle Sounders versus Houston Dynamo on Wednesday evening.
That’s the first of three midweek matches, with a further two taking place on Thursday. Dave Gantar and Robert Sibiga are the referees, with Nick Uranga running the line for Gantar in the Chicago Fire versus Columbus Crew match-up.
Uranga made his MLS debut in Week 25 and refereed last week’s NWSL Championship game. The 26-year-old recently spoke to PRO about his journey to the top.
Alan Kelly, the reigning MLS Referee of the Year, leads the way with 21 assignments for the season, and he is in the center for D.C. United against New York City, supported by ARs Kyle Atkins and Brian Dunn, with Jose Carlos Rivero as fourth official.
The latter are going toe-to-toe with New York Red Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference, and their city rivals will be refereed by Robert Sibiga – his second assignment of the week – when they face Columbus Crew.
Ricardo Salazar and Baldomero Toledo are also assigned to early games, refereeing at Philadelphia Union and Chicago Fire respectively, while the all-Canadian clash between Montreal Impact and Toronto FC will be officiated by a crew of Jair Marrufo, Eric Boria, Peter Balciunas and Mathieu Bourdeau.
The next set of games all begin at 5pm ET.
Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas lead the way in the Western Conference, and Dallas’ home match-up with Seattle will be overseen by two-time Referee of the Year Mark Geiger. The man who took the 2012 honour, Silviu Petrescu, referees Rapids’ visit to Portland Timbers.
Twin brothers Ian and Frank Anderson can’t be separated at the top of the AR assignment charts, and the duo will get their 22nd run-out in the late kick-offs.
Ian is at Rio Tinto Stadium for Real Salt Lake versus Sporting Kansas City, a game refereed by 2015 All-Star official Ismail Elfath, while Frank is AR2 for San Jose Earthquakes against Vancouver Whitecaps. Fotis Bazakos is the referee.
Last but not least, Houston Dynamo host Los Angeles Galaxy, with Kevin Stott – in his 21st MLS season – the referee at BBVA Compass Stadium, alongside AR duo Craig Lowry and Apolinar Mariscal, with fourth official Rubiel Vazquez on the touchline.