Earlier this month, a group of 50 officials â€“ 20 referees and 30 assistant referees â€“ involved with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy attended the 2012 Professional Referee Preseason Camp held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A couple refereesÂ caught up with ussoccer.com to discuss the experience and how they got started in this thick-skinned soccer profession.
Here are some facts about the rookie group that was in attendance:
- All 50 invitees have worked a Development Academy game in the past four seasons
- They have filled a combined 1,906 positions in 8,848 games that have taken place in the past four years, starting with Jan. 2, 2008, and running until the referee preseason camp
- The referees represent 20 state associations
- Nine referees have been invited to the Development Academy Finals Week in the past two years
- Twelve participants have been named Development Academy Referee of the Week