We know who the Seattle Sounders are taking on in the Knockout Round of the MLS Playoffs. We also know who will be the man in charge of the game: Ismail Elfath. He will be joined by Peter Manikowski (AR1), Corey Parker (AR2) and Ricardo Salazar (4th).
This will be Elfath’s third game refereeing a match involving the Sounders this season. The first came on April 10 when the Sounders took on the Dynamo in Houston. Elfath only called a total of 12 fouls in the Sounders 1-1 draw that afternoon. He also handed out two yellow cards, one to Jalil Anibaba of Houston and one to Joevin Jones.
The next time the Sounders saw Elfath was in their game against the Colorado Rapids on May 21st. He called a total of 19 fouls in that game, eight against the Sounders, and issued three yellow cards — all to Rapids players.
The last time Elfath was seen at a game involving the Sounders was in their 3-1 win over Orlando City. He was the fourth official in that match and had no real bearing on the match itself.
However, there is one game that may stick out in your head. June 1, 2015 against Sporting Kansas City in Kansas City. In what looked like a game that would end in a 0-0 draw, Elfath called a foul on Stefan Frei after he and Dom Dwyer collided in the penalty area on what appeared to be a 50-50 ball. Benny Feilhaber converted the penalty and Sporting walked away 1-0 winners.
Elfath has refereed 19 games this season. He has called 464 fouls, issued 63 yellow cards and three reds.