- About PRO
Name: Ismail Elfath
Date of Birth: 03/03/1982
Austin Aztex vs. Montreal Impact - North American Soccer League - 05/2009
MLS Cup 2013 [4th Official]
MLS Western Conference Championship
NASL Semi Final, US Open Cup Quarter Final 2011
US Soccer Academy Final
International U-20 Final - Portugal vs. Netherlands - Lisbon, Portugal - also named Referee of Tournament
International friendly - Honduras vs. El Salvador
How did you get into officiating?
I became curious during my playing years in the PDL league. Then I joined the local referee ranks in Austin, TX.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while progressing through the ranks to become an official?
Balancing time between family and refereeing, and having to quit playing to focus on officiating.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
In the early years it was a local referee and assessor by the name of Keith Poonwah. Mr Poonwah taught me the basics of professionalism in refereeing. Mr. Brian Hall and Saki Papadopoulous helped me improve and understand what it takes to be a national referee and an MLS referee.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Representing US Soccer in Portugal along with referees from across Europe in the International U-20 tournament and being named Referee of Tournament.
What advice would you pass on to an aspiring official?
Be humble, always be open to learn, and give back by sharing what you know with your local referee community and especially young referees.