The busy summer slate of soccer recently included a nearly 100-referee corps working at the US Youth Soccer National Championships from July 20-28 in Germantown, Maryland, and another group of officials participating in the US Adult Soccer National Cup Finals from July 25-27 in Sandy, Utah.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships showcased 96 of the country’s top referees at the youth level. Just like teams who compete at the state and regional levels, referees compete for one of the coveted spots to officiate at the National Championships. Once there, referees’ performances are factored into the assignment for one of the 14 championship matches among the various age groups.
“The event serves as a great stepping stone for many referees who are preparing to upgrade to National Referees or National Candidates,” said Jonathan Meersman, Region II Referee Director. “Many of the games are assessed or observed by mentors or members of the US Youth Soccer Referee Committee, and the feedback is used to help in the championship game assignment process.”
This year, there were two returners from 2013 who successfully completed the requirements to upgrade to National Referee for 2014. There were also five National Candidates who officiated at the event.
The U.S. Soccer support staff at the US Youth Soccer National Championships included Holly Hollingsworth, Sandy Hunt, David McKee, Karen Pritchett, Kermit Quisenberry, Bryan Roslund, Don Torrenti and Don Wilbur.
At the USASA Men’s National Cup, the tournament has three divisions of competition – Amateur, Open and Over-30. In the Open division, regional champions advance to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Two officials from each region were selected by a USASA regional committee based on their regional performances. Assistant referees were selected by U.S. Soccer based on chosen based on their exceptional performances at various 2014 identification events.
“The technical support provided in this event was outstanding,” USASA Referee Chair Angelo Bratsis said. “Everyone worked hard and the officials showed the tools they need to get to the next level. The field exercises and classroom seasons built camaraderie and support. The confidence level of the referees and the skilled ARs allow for everyone to succeed in that setting.”
“We enjoy the continuous support of U.S. Soccer at USASA events, and the Academy events have also given us the support needed to make this the high-quality event it always strives to be,” USASA President John Motta said.