CARSON, Calif. -- The Professional Referee Organization announced on Friday via Twitter that Referee Ricardo Salazar will officiate Sunday's Western Conference Semifinal first leg between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes.
Salazar officiated just two Galaxy matches this season, LA's match against the New England Revolution in March, and their 1-1 draw with FC Dallas in April that saw him deal out six cautions -- three to the Galaxy -- and award a penalty kick for each side. Meawnhile, Salazar officiated just two San Jose matches this season, a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls in April where he issued four cautions and a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA in May that saw him issue five yellow cards -- three to San Jose . Salazar has a history of officiating big games at The Home Depot Center having served as the referee for the 2011 MLS Cup Final.
While Sunday's clash between the Galaxy and San Jose promises to be a physical clash, the Galaxy believe that they will need to focus on their gameplan rather than Salazar's officiating.
“It's something that we can’t worry about. We can’t think about the referees, we just have to go into the game,” said Dunivant after training on Friday. “Salazar doing the game; he’s probably the best ref in the league. He did our final last year and has done a lot of big games, so he won’t be an excuse for us. We can’t think about the referees going into this game, we have to think about San Jose.”