Malik Badawi is the center referee for the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Cup which takes place between Columbus Crew 2 and St Louis City 2 at Lower.com Field on Saturday, October 8 (1:30PM ET).
Badawi will be joined by assistant referees Amilcar Sicaju and Stephen Milhoan, with Nabil Bensalah on duty as fourth official. Noah Matos is the reserve assistant referee.
A regular in the Video Operations Room in MLS, Badawi has been a VAR on 46 occasions in the past four seasons. He also took charge of three games from the center in 2020, and another this August between New England Revolution and D.C. United.
Like Badawi, experienced officials Sicaju and Bensalah have been assigned games across NWSL, USL Championship, and MLS NEXT Pro this season, while assistant referee Milhoan has flagged in USL Championship in the past three campaigns, as well as officiating in MLS NEXT Pro in 2022.
Columbus Crew 2 overcame TFC II 4-3 in a thrilling encounter on Sunday that had three extratime goals before St Louis City 2 saw off Tacoma Defiance 2-1 to book their place in the final.
Columbus Crew 2 vs St Louis City 2
Lower.com Field (1:30PM ET)
REF: Malik Badawi
AR1: Amilcar Sicaju
AR2: Stephen Milhoan
4TH: Nabil Bensalah
RAR: Noah Matos