- About PRO
August 9, 2014
Wednesday night’s MLS All-Star game against Bayern Munich may not have been Jair Marrufo’s first, having blown the whistle in the 2011 midseason showcase involving Manchester United from the EPL, but the 37-year-old took in every minute of the occasion.
“The atmosphere at Providence Park was excellent - it always is in Portland. The fans always make it special, but it was even more special on Wednesday,” he told proreferees.com.
“I flew in the day before the game with my wife Zinnia and we were staying in the same hotel as the MLS All-Stars so the experience started as soon as I arrived.
“It’s an honor to referee every match, but you don’t take charge of Bayern Munich games every week so it was especially exciting.
“Knowing that some of the MLS players could be in their last All-Stars game also gave it an extra edge, and that is always a privilege knowing I had a small part in that.”
Robert Lewandowski scored for the German side early in the first half, before goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Landon Donovan - the LA Galaxy man having recently announced he will retire from soccer at the end of the season - secured a 2-1 win for the All-Stars in front of just under 22,000 fans.
After 11 regular season assignments in 2014, Marrufo has now moved onto 169 games as a center official in MLS, his first coming back in May 2000 at Colorado Rapids.
And having enjoyed the brief distraction from the challenges that the regular season brings, the man from El Paso is looking forward to the final months of the year.
“My goal from now until December is to be consistent and finish strong. Hopefully I do well and put myself into a position to be considered for Playoff games or maybe even the MLS Cup.”