U.S. Soccer, MLS create new referee program

U.S. Soccer, MLS create new referee program

Major League Soccer

U.S. Soccer, MLS create new referee program



Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The quality of officiating in MLS has consistently come into the limelight over the years, and the league and U.S. Soccer are taking a step to try and rectify that issue.

The two organizations have teamed to create and fund the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), which will begin its operations next month. PRO's mission is to improve the quality of refereeing in the professional leagues in the United States and Canada along with developing new referees at a higher standard. Inside Minnesota Soccer first reported the creation of PRO last week.

Peter Walton, an English referee, has been chosen to spearhead the program as its general manager. According to a U.S. Soccer release, PRO's resources will allow for more to be devoted toward training opporunities and the hiring of more full-time referees and technical staffers. PRO will have referees in MLS, MLS reserve games, U.S. Open Cup, NASL and USL Pro under its umbrella.

"We’ve always understood that the development of referees is an important aspect to the growth of the game in the United States," U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a release. "PRO is another step toward the improvement and professionalization of our top referees. With the additional resources and funding provided by the formation of PRO, we will continue to build upon the progress we’ve already made."

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