Former Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco is in the semifinals of the 2019 Club World Cup in Qatar with Saudi club Al-Hilal, and he'll see some, well, familiar faces while there.
An officiating crew from the Professional Referees Organization will handle Al-Hilal's (champions of the AFC) game against Brazil's Flamengo (Copa Libertadores champions) on Tuesday, and the officials work regularly in MLS. The referee will be Ismail Elfath (pictured above), while Kyle Atkins and Corey Parker will serve as assistant referees, and Alan Kelly will be the Video Assistant Referee. Kelly has been MLS Referee of the Year three times, while Parker has been MLS Assistant Referee of the Year twice.
The assignment represents another big moment on the world stage for Elfath and the rest of his team, who served in the same roles for the final of the 2019 Under-20 World Cup, which took place in Poland over the summer. A PRO refereeing crew led by Jair Marrufo also took charge of the Club World Cup final in 2018.
The other Club World Cup semifinal will pit Liverpool (UEFA Champions League winners) against Monterrey (Concacaf Champions League winners) and will take place on Wednesday.