NEW YORK – Major League Soccer and the Professional Referee Organization Friday announced Robert Sibiga as MLS referee of the year and Cory Richardson as assistant referee of the year — both for the first times in their careers.

Sibiga has accumulated 138 regular season assignments in his seven-year MLS career and has also presided over MLS Cup Playoffs matches, the 2018 MLS All-Star Game and the 2012 United Soccer League Championship final.

During his four-year MLS career, Richardson’s 70 assignments include the 2021 MLS All-Star Game, 2020 MLS Cup and the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League championship. He also has been nominated by U.S. Soccer to the FIFA International Panel of Assistant Referees.

Nominated by the Professional Referee Organization, candidates were voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and MLS players. Below is the voting breakdown:

Voting Results

REFEREE PLAYER CLUB MEDIA TOTAL
Sibiga, Robert 37.50% 60.60% 34.00% 44.03%
Marrufo, Jair 27.10% 24.20% 34.50% 28.60%
Villarreal, Armando 35.40% 15.20% 31.50% 27.37%

 

ASST. REFEREE PLAYER CLUB MEDIA TOTAL
Richardson, Cory 28.10% 48.50% 40.40% 39.00%
Anderson, Ian 30.70% 27.30% 39.40% 32.47%
Anderson, Frank 41.10% 24.20% 20.20% 28.50%

MLS Referee of the Year Winners

  • 2021: Robert Sibiga
  • 2020: Ismail Elfath
  • 2019: Allen Chapman
  • 2018: Alan Kelly
  • 2017: Allen Chapman
  • 2016: Alan Kelly
  • 2015: Alan Kelly
  • 2014: Mark Geiger
  • 2013: Hilario Grajeda
  • 2012: Silviu Petrescu
  • 2011: Mark Geiger
  • 2010: Kevin Stott
  • 2009: Alex Prus
  • 2008: Jair Marrufo
  • 2007: Brian Hall
  • 2006: Brian Hall
  • 2005: Brian Hall
  • 2004: Abiodun Okulaja
  • 2003: Brian Hall
  • 2002: Kevin Terry
  • 2001: Paul Tamberino
  • 2000: Paul Tamberino
  • 1999: Paul Tamberino
  • 1998: Paul Tamberino
  • 1997: Esse Baharmast

MLS Assistant Referee of the Year Winners

  • 2021: Cory Richardson
  • 2020: Kathryn Nesbitt
  • 2019: Brian Dunn
  • 2018: Joe Fletcher
  • 2017: Corey Parker
  • 2016: Frank Anderson
  • 2015: Corey Parker
  • 2014: Paul Scott
  • 2013: Kermit Quisenberry
  • 2012: Ian Anderson
  • 2011: Corey Rockwell
  • 2010: Craig Lowry
  • 2009: Greg Barkey
  • 2008: Kermit Quisenberry