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Profiles

Name: Hilario Grajeda

Date of Birth: 09/02/1967

Nationality: USA

Role: Referee

Professional Debut: 
Dallas Burn vs. Kansas City Wizards - Major League Soccer - 07/2004

Honors: 

2013 MLS Cup [Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake]

MLS Referee of the Year 2013

2013 MLS All Stars vs. AS Roma

4th Official for the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cups

MLS Play-Off matches [Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake - 2012, and LA Galaxy vs. New York Red Bull - 2011]

The 2006 MLS Conference semi-final [Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas]

What was the biggest challenge you faced while progressing through the ranks to become an official?
Back in the early days, traveling to youth or amateur tournaments for weeks at a time, trying to balance my off the pitch life and keeping up with my physical training and fitness.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
There are multiple people that have influenced my referee career. Coaches and mentors to name a few - Brian Hall, Esse Baharmast, Kevin Stott, Michael Kennedy, Mack Alarcon, Carl Wright.

You never make it to this level with the influence of just one person. There are multiple mentors that help you at different stages of your referee career.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I have many highlights, obviously being part of back-to-back MLS Cup Championships is one of them. Another would be the everlasting friendships and camaraderie I have developed with my referee mates.

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring official?
It is a long journey. Stay grounded. Leave the ego behind. If you have your faith, your family, your job, in that order, you will have a successful referee career ahead of you.


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