Allen Chapman, the MLS Referee of the Year, has been announced as the center ref for the MLS Cup Final. Chapman has had most of the playoffs off, only being on the field for the Atlanta United - Columbus Crew match in the knockout round. Chapman was also the VAR twice during the conference semifinals.
Chapman’s assistants will be the second- and third-place finishers in MLS Assistant Referee of the Year voting, Adam Wienckowski and Jeremy Hanson. Wienckowski has only officiated one playoff match this season, the Vancouver knockout round game, while Hanson was in Atlanta as part of Chapman’s crew and then again in the crazy Toronto - Red Bulls match that saw Sacha Kljestan and Jozy Altidore sent off.
In Chapman’s 22 matches this season he averaged 3.59 yellow cards per game from 22 fouls. Seattle and Toronto are the two least fouling sides in the league and finished 1-2 in the MLS Fair Play award, which should produce a cleaner game than normal for Chapman.
In the past three seasons, Seattle has only played in front of Chapman once each year, with the ref earning a rating of 5 from Realio each time. In 2015 it was a 1-0 loss in Chicago, in 2016 it was a 3-1 win in Orlando, and this season it was Seattle’s 3-3 comeback draw at home against the Revolution. In our matches with Chapman he’s just been average. He hasn’t been great, but he also hasn’t ruined a game.
The comeback against New England was one of the cleanest games of the year, with only ten total fouls called — four against the Sounders. However, two yellows were awarded, one to Tony Alfaro for a bad challenge and one to Will Bruin for dissent.
Toronto has had Chapman four times this year. They’ve been called for the seventh-most fouls by Chapman, averaging 11.75 per game and two yellows. They also average a PK every other time they play in front of him. Neither side has lost in front of him this year, going a combined 2-0-3.
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders
BMO Field (4:00pm ET)
REF: ALLEN CHAPMAN
AR1: Adam Wienckowski
AR2: Jeremy Hanson
4TH: Kevin Stott
5TH: Jason White
VAR: Dave Gantar