For two out of the last three years in, Corkman Alan Kelly has been named the best referee in Major League Soccer.

He moved Stateside in 2014 having established himself as the leading official in the League of Ireland (five times he was named the PFAI Referee of the Year) and has continued to enhance his reputation ever since.

Now he's savouring every minute of being the man in the middle in a league studded with star names and rapidly growing in popularity. 

"I never thought my job would ever be refereeing games; it was always a hobby or a pastime or a passion for me, but this is what it is," he told RTÉ Sport's Darren Frehill.

"It's given me a different perspective on the game itself and the job I do but one I'm really happy to have had the opportunity to do - later in my career yes, but better late than never."

Kelly reflected on the imminent arrival of Video Assistant Referees (VARs) in games.

The MLS began trialling the technology in pre-season matches last February, and on Monday night it will be utilised for the time ever in the FA Cup when Crystal palace travel to Brighton and Hove Albion.

"We're not looking to stop-start the games," he said. "We've done a lot of work behind the scenes in terms of when to get involved and when not to get involved and ultimately we only want to get involved to make sure the bigger decisions are the ones we get right.

"Yeah, you'll have players and coaches who, when they're on the wrong end of a call they'll feel a bit aggrieved, but by their own admission in the cold light of day when they look at things, they'll accept the decision."