CONCACAF Referee of the Year Shortlists

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The shortlists for the fifth year of the CONCACAF Awards have been announced. In total there are eleven different categories, including male and female players of the year. To qualify for one of the awards, they must have participated with a national team in CONCACAF or participated in a domestic league within the CONCACAF region. Voting will be open for players of the year through December 7th and voting for the rest of the awards are open through December 13th. A third of the votes will be from fans, a third from the media, and a third from head coaches and captains. Voting can be done online or on social media with specific hashtags. This article will focus on the CONCACAF Referee of the Year. awards

CONCACAF Referee of the Year (Male)

The shortlist for the male official of the year includes:

Cesar Ramos (Mexico): Ramos, a 33-year-old that made his debut in 2006 in Ascenso MX, has been listed as an international referee since 2014 and helped officiate the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, including three United States Men’s National Team matches. He has also continued to call Liga MX games, which he has done since 2011.

Jair Marrufo (United States): The 40-year-old official has been in MLS since 2002. During that time, he has won MLS Referee of the Year (2008) and has been suspended for poor performance (2009). He also officiated the International Champions Cup match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid but was accused by Ivan Rakitić of insulting him three times. He’s received a handful of honors and covered a handful of big games over his career, but he’s been in the center of controversy multiple times as well.

Joel Aguilar (Salvador): A veteran of the Salvadoran Primera División, Aguilar, a 42-year-old, has been an international official since 2001. He has officiated many cup finals and has been a referee in two World Cups. Aguilar won the CONCACAF Male Referee of the Year in 2015.

John Pitti (Panama): A 39-year-old referee, Pitti has been a full international official since 2012. He continues to serve the Liga Panameña de Fútbol.

Kimbell Ward (St. Kitts & Nevis): Ward has been an international referee since 2013.

Mark Geiger (United States): Geiger has spent the last 15 years as a referee. He started in the A-League in 2002 and continued his career there until the league folded in 2004. He would join MLS in 2004 and has served the league since then. In 2011, Geiger also began refereeing NASL games. The 43-year-old has been an international referee since 2008. He had the opportunity to officiate games in the 2014 World Cup and was in Russia this summer for the Confederations Cup. Before becoming an official, Geiger was a math teacher. He was awarded the MLS Referee of the Year in 2011 and 2014.

Ricardo Montero (Costa Rica): The 31-year-old has been an international ref since 2011 and has called qualifying matches as well as matches at the 2015 Gold Cup. Most recently, Montero served at the 2017 U-20 World Cup.

Roberto Garcia (Mexico): The 43-year-old serves Liga MX and has been an international referee since 2007. He has officiated the 2014 and 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Luis Enrique Santander (Mexico): A veteran of Liga MX, the 34-year-old has officiated many international friendlies, World Cup qualifiers, and CONCACAF Champions League matches. He also was the referee throughout the 2017 Clausura Championship Stage of Liga MX.

Yadel Martinez (Cuba): The 32-year-old has been an international referee since 2013.

Votes can be cast here or on social media with the #CONCACAFAwards, #Referee, and the official’s name.

CONCACAF Referee Of The Year (Female)

The shortlist for the female official of the year includes:

Carol Anne Chenard (Canada): Chenard has been an international referee since 2006. She was one of sixteen officials selected for the 2011 Women’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. She is also one of only three Canadians on FIFA’s list of international referees for women’s soccer games. Chenard officiates for both men’s and women’s game and is the only woman in North America to officiate at the highest division of men’s soccer. She won this award last year.

Ekaterina Koroleva (United States): Koroleva made her professional debut in 2013. Since then, she has officiated the 2015 Pan Am Third Place Game between Mexico and Canada, the 2015 NWSL Championship Final, and the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup. She has also been nominated to officiate the 2018 Algarve Cup and has been nominated for a chance to officiate the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Lucila Venegas (Mexico): Venegas has officiated in the 2015 Women’s World Cup and during the 2016 Olympics. Before that, she was a referee at the 2012 U-20 Women’s World Cup. She currently officiates in Ascenso MX and Copa MX competitions.

Marianela Araya Cruz (Costa Rica): Araya Cruz is currently an official in Costa Rica’s Primera División. Previously, she refereed matches at the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (Canada): Beaudoin has been a referee since 2003 and became an international referee in 2014. She has served during two CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championships and during the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup. In addition to being one of Canada’s top referees, Beaudoin is also a professor of physiology and biophysics at Dalhousie University and is a medical writer.

Maurees Skeete (Guyana): Skeete is the only female official from the South American country of Guyana. She officiated during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship as well as during the 2017 CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Under-20 Championship Quarter-Finals.

Melissa Borjas (Honduras): Borjas has been a professional referee since 2011 and an international referee since 2013. Borjas became the first Honduran to ever officiate a game during a Women’s World Cup in 2015.

Michelle Pye (Canada): Pye has been an international referee since 2007 and has worked during two CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships, the 2010 Algarve cup, the 2010 U-17 Women’s World Cup, and the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Domestically, she works for the W-League.

Odette Hamilton (Jamaica): Just last year, Hamilton was at a referee academy in Orlando as a prospective referee. This year she was awarded referee of the year by St Catherine Football Referees Group, becoming just the second female to win this award.

Quetzalli Alvarado (Mexico): Alvarado has been an international referee since 2004. She has been an official at three U-17 Women’s World Cups, two U-20 Women’s World Cups, two Women’s World Cups, and the 2012 Olympics. Outside of that, Alvarado has officiated in Ascenso MX and Liga MX.

Votes can be cast here or on social media with the #CONCACAFAwards, #Referee, and the official’s name.

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