Ricardo Salazar

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This article is about an American soccer referee. For the protagonist of the Generator Rex TV series, see Rex Salazar.
Not to be confused with Richard Salazar.
Ricardo Salazar
Born (1972-09-06) September 6, 1972 (age 43)
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
Other occupation Insurance agent
Years League Role
2000–present MLS Referee
2007–present CONCACAF Champions League Referee
2009 Pan-Pacific Championship Referee
Years League Role
2005–present FIFA Referee

Ricardo Salazar (born September 6, 1972) is a referee who currently referees for the Professional Referee Organization and International Matches.[1] He became a full-time referee in 2007.



Since becoming a fully professional referee in 2007, Salazar has officiated many matches in Major League Soccer. He has also officiated many important CONCACAF Champions Cup matches, including the CONCACAF Champions Cup Semi Final between Pachuca CF and CD Motagua[2]

Salazar was also one of the referees picked to officiate in the 2009 Pan-Pacific Championship.[3]

On June 19, 2011, Salazar refereed an MLS match between the New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers, in which he issued a yellow card to Adam Moffat and a red to Red Bulls star Thierry Henry after an altercation. A commentator said during the television broadcast: "The referee, no one's paying to see him. There's no need to do that. It's ridiculous."[4] A day after the match, Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler issued a statement saying that "the level of refereeing was absolutely below the standards of what is required for a MLS match and completely unacceptable" and that MLS "cannot let these types of refereeing performances occur."[5]

Salazar officiated the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final between Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders FC. He handed out six yellow cards, all six to the Sounders, who went on to lose the game. He then called Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning off his line during the game-deciding penalty kick shootout, after Gspurning blocked a shot by Sporting's Paulo Nagamura, who put his retake away to win the game. After a scoreless league match later in the year versus Salt Lake, Seattle's General Manager Adrian Hanauer and coach Sigi Schmid both expressed displeasure over the assignment and officiating of Salazar.[6][7]

On March 17, 2013, Salazar refereed an MLS match between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. Chivas' Velázquez was originally shown his first yellow card of the match after a challenge on Galaxy midfielder Colin Clark. The player was then immediately shown a red card. After the match, Chivas manager José Luis Sánchez Solá suggested that the ejection was based on favoritism.[8] The Professional Referees Organization (PRO) stated that the original caution card was shown by mistake and it was, in actuality, a red that was issued for the challenge. Chivas made a successful request to have the case reviewed by the independent panel and the card was overturned.[9]

On June 1, 2013, Salazar refereed a match between Chivas USA and the Seattle Sounders FC. Late in the game, Salazar gave a straight red to Seattle's Obafemi Martins of in the 71st minute after a tussle with Chivas player Gabriel Farfan. MLS rescinded the card.[10]

On September 26, 2015, Salazar called a penalty in the 88th minute against New York City FC player Angelino who appeared to take down Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Kendall Waston who was attacking the far goal, in the 88th minute in a game that allowed the Whitecaps to draw even on a penalty kick. New York players and coach, Jason Kreis, were furious and voiced objections to Salazar. In stoppage time, with moments left to play, Salazar penalized Whitecaps player Matias Laba for a tackle that left him with the ball and New York player Frank Lampard sprawled on the turf inside the Whitecaps box. After the match, Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson questioned the call and wondered "if it's a makeup call or whatever".[11][12][13]


Since becoming a FIFA referee in 2005, Salazar had been chosen to officiate six international matches, four of which have been International Friendlies. On May 24, 2010 he officiated a friendly between Australia and New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.[14]

International Matches officiated

Date Home Away Result Competition
October 15, 2008 Costa Rica Costa Rica Haiti Haiti 2 – 0[15] 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF
May 27, 2009 Ecuador Ecuador El Salvador El Salvador 1 – 3[16] Friendly Match
October 14, 2009 El Salvador El Salvador Honduras Honduras 0 – 1[17] 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF
May 10, 2010 Mexico Mexico Senegal Senegal 1 – 0[18] Friendly Match
May 24, 2010 Australia Australia New Zealand New Zealand 2 – 1[19] Friendly Match
February 29, 2012 Estonia Estonia El Salvador El Salvador 2 – 0[20] Friendly Match
May 29, 2013 Ecuador Ecuador Germany Germany 2 – 4[21] Friendly Match
June 7, 2014 England England Honduras Honduras 0 – 0 Friendly match
September 8, 2015 Argentina Argentina Mexico Mexico 2 – 0 Friendly Match

Card statistics[edit]

Major League Soccer
Season G Booked Tot Booked PG Red card Tot Red card PG
2013 21 60 2.86 6 0.29
2014 14 46 3.29 5 0.36

Updated to matches played on November 3, 2014.
Source: http://www.proreferees.com/stats-referee-stats.php


  1. ^ "PRO Referee Roster". PROreferees.com. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ricardo Salazr History". WorldReferee.com. February 12, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  3. ^ "RefTalk with Ricardo Salazar". U.S Soccer Referees Federation. February 24, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ Jones, Grahame (June 25, 2011). "MLS referees aren't keeping up with the game". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ Zack Woolsey (June 20, 2011). "New York Red Bulls General Manager Erik Soler Blasts MLS Officiating". SB Nation. 
  6. ^ Rudman, Steve (October 22, 2013). "Stay away from Sounders, Salazar". Sportspress Northwest (KING 5 News). Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ Ruiz, Don (October 17, 2012). "Sounders GM: "I’m not at all happy that Salazar was assigned to this game"". The News Tribune. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ Davis, Steve (March 18, 2013). "Ricardo Salazar’s explanation for red asks more questions". NBC Sports. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ricardo Salazar". MLSsoccer.com. March 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ricardo Salazar". MLSsoccer.com. June 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Penalty drama as NYCFC downs Whitecaps 2-1". thespec.com. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Whitecaps stunned by NYC FC on Villa's stoppage time winner". www.vancouversun.com. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Vancouver Whitecaps devastated after controversial loss to New York City FC". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  14. ^ "FFA Articles Aussies snatch farewell win". Football Federation Australia. May 24, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Costa Rica – Haiti Match Report". FIFA. October 15, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Ecuador V El Salvador". Football Lineups. May 27, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  17. ^ "El Salvador v Honduras". Football Lineups. October 14, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Mexico v Senegal". Football Lineups. May 10, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Australia v New Zealand". Football Lineups. May 24, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Estonia v El Salvador". Football Lineups. February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Ecuador v Germany". Football Lineups. May 29, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 

External links[edit]