Alan Kelly has joined the Professional Referee Organization’s support staff as Manager of Senior Referees after retiring from officiating at the end of the 2021 MLS season.
His final game was this year’s Western Conference Final between Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake, having worked 42 MLS games during the 2021 regular season across referee, fourth official, and VAR roles.
Kelly will report into Mark Geiger, PRO’s Director of Senior Match Officials. One of his primary areas of focus when his new role starts on January 1 will be on driving the development of less experienced referees in PRO’s senior group,
Having made his MLS debut when Seattle Sounders’ played Sporting Kansas City in March 2014, the Irishman later refereed the MLS Cup in 2016 and 2018 and won back-to-back MLS Referee of the Year awards in 2015 and 2016, and then a third in 2018.
Before moving to the USA seven years ago, he officiated in the League of Ireland, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League, and was a member of the FIFA international panel between 2002 and 2013. He also worked as VAR at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup final and retires having refereed 155 MLS regular-season games.
PRO’s General Manager Howard Webb said: “I am delighted to welcome Alan Kelly onto the PRO staff as Manager of Senior Referees.
“His vast knowledge of the game, coupled with his very clear understanding of what it takes to deliver effective refereeing performances, saw him become one of the most respected and successful referees ever to work in MLS.
“Alan’s new role will ideally position him to share his considerable experience and expertise with those who are looking to follow in his footsteps.”
Kelly said: “I am thrilled to be joining such an experienced support staff in the role of Manager of Senior Referees with PRO. I am also very excited to have the opportunity to work with a talented group of match officials in a league that continues to grow in popularity and relevance not only here in North America but also around the world. I believe the experience I have gained throughout my career can assist this group in their respective careers.”
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