As announced by PRO, the Professional Referee Organization, the upcoming MLS match this Saturday between the San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas will be officiated by Jair Marrufo. The 37-year old Marrufo refereed his first MLS game in 2000 and last week was the head official for the 2014 MLS All-Star Game in Portland.
With the Quakes battling to make the Western Conference top-five in order to qualify for the postseason, they will need a victory over third place Dallas in order to keep the momentum of a four game unbeaten streak alive. Marrufo, who in addition to the All-Star Game, has refereed 11 MLS regular season games so far in 2014. His last assignment for San Jose was the Quakes 2-1 home loss to DC United on July 11. He was also the lead official for the Earthquakes 1-0 loss at the Seattle Sounders on May 17.
In his 11 MLS assignments so far this season, Marrufo has shown the yellow card 12 times and the red card once. He has called a total of 184 fouls in those 11 matches, a rate of 16.7 fouls per game -- the fewest per game of any referee with at least 10 MLS assignments this season (Drew Fischer tops the list at a whopping 28.5 fouls per game). In his two San Jose assignments this year, Marrufo has shown the yellow card just once to the Earthquakes, to Alan Gordon against DCU.
Saturday's match will mark Marrufo's 170th as an MLS referee. The El Paso, Texas native has also refereed in the Beijing Olympics and the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments.