Friday, December 1, 2023

Elton Garcia and Diego Blas receive top USL accolades

Elton Garcia has been named the USL Referee of the Year, with Diego Blas picking up the USL Assistant Referee of the Year honor.

Garcia refereed nine USL games in 2020 and took charge of his first in MLS when Chicago Fire hosted FC Cincinnati in Week 7. Meanwhile, Blas was AR eight times in the 2020 USL Championship, with the pair both doing a further two games in the USL Championship playoffs.

Alex Prus, Director of PRO2 Match Officials, said: “I’m delighted that Elton and Diego have been recognized for their performances this year.

“The PRO2 roster is full of promising officials and these two have consistently delivered to a high standard. They have applied themselves with professionalism on and off the field, which has resulted in opportunities for them both to step up for more MLS games in 2020, including a debut in Elton’s case.

“Everyone at PRO2 looks forward to seeing them continue to progress in 2021, and other aspiring or ambitious officials can use success stories from the development level such as this to inspire their own career pathways.”

Garcia and Blas follow in the footsteps of Guido Gonzales Jr (referee) and Ian McKay (assistant referee) who won the inaugural USL awards in 2019 and now officiate primarily in MLS.

In addition to games in USL, Garcia added another three MLS games to his tally before the end of the regular-season and acted as a fourth official on five occasions. Blas officiated eight MLS regular-season games including an AVAR assignment in Week 9, adding to his two games as AR in 2019.

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