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First Three Officials Graduate from U.S. Soccer’s Platinum Program to Join Professional Ranks

Applications Now Open for Enrollment in 2013 Class

CHICAGO (July 8, 2013) – The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced the graduation of the first three officials from the Platinum Program: Katja Koroleva, Christina Unkel and Robert Sibiga. All three have moved on to the professional ranks as PRO officials after a successful year in U.S. Soccer’s intensive training program for select officials.

The Platinum Program provides select up-and-coming male and female officials with up to three years of personalized training in preparation for assignments at the professional and international level. Training is provided through a number of national training events, instructional webinars and through the support of mentors. 

The program is overseen by U.S. Soccer’s Director of Referee Identification and Training Herb Silva, with the support of former and active professional officials. 

“We are excited to have our first three graduates from the Platinum Program move on to the professional ranks,” said Silva. “All three demonstrated their abilities to perform throughout various events and we look forward to seeing them officiate at the highest level in this country.”

All three graduates began the program in June of 2012 and officiated at the 2012 Development Academy Finals Week, 2012 NIKE International Friendlies and the inaugural National Amateur Championships in May of this year. Unkel was also named to the FIFA list in January of 2013. 

Anyone currently registered as an official with the U.S. Soccer Federation can apply for the Platinum Program. Applications for the next class will be available through Sunday, July 14 and acceptances will be announced by August 31.  

The application can be accessed here: