Hilario Grajeda will referee MLS Cup 2013

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Hilario Grajeda, an MLS referee since 2004, will officiate Major League Soccer’s showcase event, the Dec. 7 MLS Cup final featuring Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City.

The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) announced its selection Monday.

Grajeda was the fourth official for MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012. How do we feel about him?

Grajeda is hardly the worst official, probably in the top half. He can, however, fall into that “let ‘em play” brigade that sometimes drags down the overall quality of matches. He does tend to call a tighter match than Silviu Petrescu, who called last year’s final in Los Angeles, so there’s that.

Late this year, Grajeda was involved in one high profile match that swing out of control. He did, at least, have the courage to eject one of Major League Soccer’s top men, Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso. (Who lost his cool at definitely deserved to be tossed.)

Here is a bit more about Grajeda, who refereed 22 MLS matches this year, which was second highest among the pool of league officials. He manned the middle for the summer’s MLS All-Star contest, as the league’s best met Italy’s Roma (pictured).