PRO has announced who will be the center ref for the first leg of the Western Conference Finals on November 22nd between the Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids.
The man in charge will be Chris Penso. He will be joined by CJ Morgante (AR1), Jeff Muschik (AR2) and Sorin Stoica (4th).
This will be only the second time that Penso has been involved as an official at any capacity. Penso was the center referee in the Sounders 2-0 loss on the road against the New York Red Bulls on June 19th.
He was a very busy man in that game as he called a total of 22 fouls, 14 of them against the Sounders. He handed out six yellow cards, two to the Sounders and four to the Red Bulls.
He was very active in the first ten minutes of the game as he issued a yellow card to Osvaldo Alonso and Felipe in the fourth minute. He issued a yellow to Bradley Wright-Phillips in the seventh minute.
The final 11 minutes of the game saw him issue three more yellows — in the 79th, 82nd and 86th — to Connor Lade, Aurélien Collin and Erik Friberg, respectively.
Our very own Realio gave Penso a rating of 8 compared to the community ratings of 5.9. Here is what Realio had to say about the game and the job Penso did.
I thought Penso was great. He controlled the game well, called fouls when necessary, and stayed out of the spotlight for much of the game. I was surprised to see that he gave out 6 yellows in this one because they didn't take over the game, and I had no issues with any of them.
I agree with the deserved early double yellow; he asked the two players to shut it and they didn't. There was some small idea that Wright-Phillips' foul from behind in the 7th minute could be red, but without a scissor I think Penso made the right call. The ref ignored a Lloyd Sam dive in the 43rd but looks to have been suckered by a Felipe flop in the 49th minute.
I was very impressed with this refereeing job, and maybe I am dreaming but I hope more referees turn in performances like this when running Sounders games.
Looking back to one game that he officiated in 2015, Penso was also highly rated. He received a 7 from Realio compared to a 5.24 from the community.
I consider him to be one of the better officials that PRO has in their ranks. He does his best to control the match early by letting players know what will or will not be allowed.
Penso has officiated 19 games this season. He has called 450 fouls and issued 71 yellow cards and seven red cards.