2018 Awards - Referee of the Year - Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly earns third MLS Referee of the Year honor

Kelly named lead referee for 2018 MLS Cup on December 8;
2018 FIFA World Cup referee Joe Fletcher voted MLS Assistant Referee of the Year
NEW YORK (Friday, Nov. 30, 2018) – Major League Soccer and the Professional Referee Organization announced today that Alan Kelly has earned MLS Referee of the Year and has been named the lead referee for the 2018 MLS Cup on Saturday, Dec. 8 (8 p.m. ET / FOX, UniMas, TSN, TVA Sports). Kelly earns his third MLS Referee of the Year honor over the past four seasons.
Additionally, Joe Fletcher has been voted the MLS Assistant Referee of the Year after representing PRO at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“This has been another successful year for the Professional Referee Organization, and I’m delighted to see Alan Kelly named as our MLS Referee of the Year and Joe Fletcher as our MLS Assistant Referee of the Year,” PRO General Manager Howard Webb said. “They are excellent ambassadors for PRO and provide strong examples of the professionalism of our group, both domestically and internationally. Joe and Alan achieved high standards in all facets of their work, and PRO continues to make great strides in our accuracy, our impact on key moments and in our expanding influence in the Video Review realm.”
Kelly, who also earned 2015 and 2016 MLS Referee of the Year, has been one of the league’s most consistent and accurate performers throughout 2018. Kelly refereed 22 regular season games, posting a strong 95 percent Key Match Incidents (KMI) rating – KMI decisions incorporate match-changing decisions primarily relating to goals, penalties and red-card situations. The 43-year-old Irishman has been a PRO referee since 2014, and Kelly has taken charge of many big games over the years, including the 2016 MLS Cup between Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC.
Fletcher was one of five officials from PRO to represent the USA and Canada at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and during the 2018 MLS season he consistently received high evaluation marks by match assessors. Fletcher reached a milestone with his 100th MLS match on Aug. 25, adding to his impressive AR career that has included two MLS Cups (2014, 2016), two Concacaf Champions League finals (2008, 2017), three Canadian Championship finals (2011, 2015, 2018) and two World Cups (2014, 2018). At the 2018 World Cup, Fletcher earned nine assignments – three as an Assistant Referee and six as an Assistant Video Assistant Referee (AVAR). MLS was the only league to have three AR representatives at the World Cup. The 42-year-old Ontario native also was an AVAR during Belgium’s third-place 2-0 victory against England on July 14.
Nominated by U.S. Soccer, the Canadian Soccer Association and the MLS Competition Committee, candidates for MLS Referee of the Year and Assistant Referee of the Year were voted on by MLS club management, media and MLS players. Below is the voting breakdown for these two awards:
Referee of the Year
Player Vote %
Club Vote %
Media Vote %
Average %
Alan Kelly
Robert Sibiga
Nima Saghafi
Asst. Referee of the Year
Player Vote %
Club Vote %
Media Vote %
Average %
Joe Fletcher
Corey Rockwell
CJ Morgante
MLS Referee of the Year Winners:
2018: Alan Kelly
2017: Allen Chapman
2016: Alan Kelly
2015: Alan Kelly
2014: Mark Geiger
2013: Hilario Grajeda
2012: Silviu Petrescu
2011: Mark Geiger
2010: Kevin Stott
2009: Alex Prus
2008: Jair Marrufo
2007: Brian Hall
2006: Brian Hall
2005: Brian Hall
2004: Abiodun Okulaja
2003: Brian Hall
2002: Kevin Terry
2001: Paul Tamberino
2000: Paul Tamberino
1999: Paul Tamberino
1998: Paul Tamberino
1997: Esse Baharmast
MLS Assistant Referee of the Year Winners:
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

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