CHICAGO (Tuesday, August 27, 2002) - U.S. Soccer referee Kari Seitz was honored on Aug. 23 as the 2002 WUSA Referee of the Year at the second annual Founders Awards Banquet in Atlanta. Because of her work commitment as an official at the inaugural FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship, Seitz was unable to attend the awards ceremony. In her absence, Esse Baharmast, U.S. Soccer's Director of Advanced and International Referee Development, read an acceptance speech on her behalf.
A two-year veteran of the WUSA, Seitz recently returned from the U-19 tournament in Canada, where she was no longer eligible for selection for the semifinals and finals (with the U.S. team advancing to the final four). The 31-year-old Seitz has been a FIFA official since 1999, having worked the Women's World Cup in the U.S. that year.
The San Mateo, Calif., resident was judged as the best referee by WUSA coaches, general managers, players, U.S. Soccer and members of the media. The award goes to the referee deemed to have "consistently displayed an understanding of the rules of the game and a consistent application of those rules."