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Ricardo Salazar announced as referee for Sounders match

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PRO announced the referee’s for the Conference Semifinals first legs on Friday.

The Seattle Sounders moved on to the Western Conference semifinals to take on FC Dallas over the next two weeks. On Friday, PRO announced who would be the main in charge for the first leg on Sunday night - it will be everyone’s favorite referee Ricardo Salazar. He will be joined by Chris Strickland (AR1), Danny Thornberry (AR2) and Fotis Bazakos (4th).

Salazar is already in Seattle as he was the 4th official in Thursday night’s 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City. He was called upon once in the game when Osvaldo Alonso came with a strong challenge to Benny Feilhaber. Ismail Elfath conferred with Salazar to make sure a foul was not committed on the tackle.

This will be the fourth time that Salazar has been the center referee in a Sounders match this season. It will be the third with a game that involved FC Dallas. The first came on the Sounders and Dallas match on May 14th in Frisco, TX. In that match, he called a total of 23 fouls, 11 on Seattle and 12 on Dallas. He did not issue any cards but he did call a penalty in the early stages of the game that led to Dallas getting on the board in just the third minute of the match.

The next time Seattle saw Salazar was in their 5-0 thrashing of Dallas on July 13th. Salazar was extremely busy in the match as he gave a Maynor Figueroa a straight red in the fourth minute of the match for DOGSO. 29 minutes later, he would issue another straight red card but this time it was to Clint Dempsey for violent conduct. He also issued Juan Esteban Ortiz a yellow card at the same time. In total, he called 19 fouls with 13 against Dallas and just six on Seattle.

MLS: FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few weeks ago, Salazar was in charge the Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps match on October 2nd. He called a total of 23 fouls, 14 on Vancouver and nine on Seattle. He handed out three yellow cards and two red cards, one to each team. On both his red cards, he got them right. First, it was Pedro Morales for violent conduct after he threw an elbow at the head of Cristian Roldan. In the 84th minute, Salazar was correct on his red card issued to Brad Evans for his “attempted” headbutt. Even though he didn’t make contact, it was the correct call by Salazar for violent conduct.

Salazar only refereed 15 games from the center this season. He called 347 fouls, issued 40 yellow cards and seven reds. Players will need to be wary not to do anything that gives Salazar reason to issue a red - four of his seven red cards came in games involving the Sounders.