MLS League Awards

Kathryn Nesbitt named MLS Assistant Referee of the Year

Awards - 2020 - MLS Assistant Referee of the Year

Kathryn Nesbitt was named the 2020 MLS Assistant Referee of the Year Wednesday, becoming the first woman official to earn year-end recognition, either through an award or a championship assignment, in any of the five North American men’s professional sports leagues.

During a breakout 2020 season, Nesbitt made her first bit of officiating history as an assistant referee for the MLS is Back Tournament Final in Orlando. With that assignment, she became the first woman ever to be named to a league final officiating crew. Additionally, Nesbitt has earned 30 total assignments in all positions this year, doubling her total in each of the last two seasons respectively.

She made her MLS debut in 2015, earning her way onto the FIFA panel of assistant referees in 2016. Nesbitt was selected for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France last year and is among the emerging crop of 10 women officials breaking through the MLS ranks with a collective 74 assignments this season.

Nominated by the Professional Referee Organization, candidates for MLS Assistant Referee of the Year were voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and MLS players. Below is the voting breakdown:

Voting Results

Player Vote
Club Vote
Media Vote
Kathryn Nesbitt
Corey Rockwell
Cory Richardson

MLS Assistant Referee of the Year Winners

  • 2020: Kathryn Nesbitt
  • 2019: Brian Dunn
  • 2018: Joe Fletcher
  • 2017: Corey Parker
  • 2016: Frank Anderson
  • 2015: Corey Parker
  • 2014: Paul Scott
  • 2013: Kermit Quisenberry
  • 2012: Ian Anderson
  • 2011: Corey Rockwell
  • 2010: Craig Lowry
  • 2009: Greg Barkey
  • 2008: Kermit Quisenberry