And you thought the regular MLS refs were bad....
Major League Soccer and the Referee Union were not able to come to an agreement today, leading to a lockout of the MLS referees. Today, MLS released the assignments for the replacement referees for the first weekend of the league. Tate Steinlage brings us the assignments for Sporting KC and Seattle.
Replacement refs for SKC/Sounders: Alan Kelly (Former FIFA Ireland), Dimitar Chadarav (MLS Reserve, NWSL), Kyle Longville (MLS preseason).— Tate Steinlage (@SteinlageT) March 7, 2014
For all the possible replacements, Alan Kelly as a center referee is one of the better lots Sporting KC and Seattle could have drawn. He's been a FIFA international ref for the past 12 years and has refereed some high profile friendlies and Champions League games. He's also been Ireland's top referee for a number of years and even has his own wikipedia page.
Not too much is known about the other two except that they have nowhere near the same experience as Kelly. Longville was refereeing academy matches as late as February 2013 and Dimitar Chadarav has been working with the reserve matches and NWSL games. Hopefully they won't be responsible for a close offsides call late in the game.
There is no end date in sight for the lockout, however the replacement referees did attend a training program this past weekend as part of a contingency plan.
Now, if only Seattle didn't have such luck with replacement refs in the past...