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Following referee lockout, immediate MLS matches to feature replacements

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

An announcement from PRO, the Professional Referee Organization, made clear that concerns about officiating in MLS are not likely to abate any time soon: the Professional Soccer Referee Association has been locked out by PRO, and replacement officials will be used in MLS matches this weekend.

Real Salt Lake's match tomorrow against LA Galaxy will feature referees from outside the normal pool, then, which reportedly will include FIFA officials who have moved to the United States, officials who have worked in other professional American leagues - chiefly USL Pro and NASL, one would imagine - and former MLS officials.

Labor negotiations are a tricky thing, of course, but with MLS matches already suffering from poor refereeing at times - we can all think of matches where there were significant struggles - this doesn't seem likely to improve things.

Thankfully, Saturday's match will go forward as planned. Disrupting the start of the season would not only be unfortunate, it would have lasting repercussions.