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Replacement Referees on the way in MLS

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Replacement officials appointed after PRO, PSRA fail to reach CBA before First Kick

Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Major League Soccer will begin it's 19th season with replacement referees after the Professional Referee Organization and the Professional Soccer Referees Association failed to reach terms on their first collective bargaining agreement in time for the new season.

Both sides have been working towards an agreement for several months now but appear to be far apart on the money issue.

"We have made a substantial proposal to the Professional Soccer Referees Association and believe it is very fair and reasonable," PRO general manager Peter Walton said in a statement. "Our proposal represents a significant increase above current compensation for referees and places them above the average for officials around the world. We are disappointed it has been rejected."

The replacement officials attended a preseason training last week as part of PRO's contingency plan for a work stoppage. Seven of the eight officials working this weekend have officiated MLS matches or FIFA international matches in the past.

On Saturday, FC Dallas will have a former fourth official lead the referees group as Jorge Luna was appointed the main official for the match against Montreal. Luis Guardia (Open Cup) and Pedro Trejo (International, NASL) will also serve as officials for this weekend's match in Frisco.