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"Official Take" Blog Live from China

CHICAGO (Sept. 10, 2007) - "Official Take," the official blog of U.S. Soccer's referees, is currently in China at the FIFA Women's World Cup, where U.S. referees Kari Seitz and Jennifer Bennett are on assignment and reporting on all the latest activity. Log on to to check it out.

Seitz and Bennett are keeping both the referee community and soccer fans up-to-date on all the preparations for the FIFA Women's World Cup. From fitness testing to the emotion of learning their assignments, the "Official Take" referee blog is a unique look at officiating from an inside perspective.

In addition to timely updates on the Women's World Cup, "Official Take" also highlights the latest information on position papers, bulletins and other information coming from the U.S. Soccer Referee Department. Fans are also encouraged to offer feedback and comment at "Official Take."

As part of U.S. Soccer's growing family of blogs, "Official Take" is one of five rotating blogs on featuring the U.S. Men's National Team, the U.S. Women's National Team and the U.S. Youth National Teams, as well as U.S. Soccer Global (an oft-updated report on U.S. Soccer's overseas players).

Both Seitz and Bennet are among the 12 referees and 23 assistant referees from across the globe named by FIFA to work the event in China (along with an additional six referees assigned as reserves). The U.S. is the only country at the Women's World Cup to be represented by two referees.

The selection process included intense scrutiny of the world's best women's soccer officials at the last three Algarve Cups (2005, 2006 and 2007), the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia, a training camp in the Canary Islands in January 2007 and a final period of preparation and training at the home of FIFA in Zurich in May.

The tournament referees were chosen after completing an intensive training program aimed at optimizing their performances at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. In addition to participating in practical training sessions, the referees were tested on the Laws of the Game and the English language. The applicants also had to pass strenuous physical and medical examinations.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 kicked off on Sept. 10 and runs through Sept. 30, 2007 in five Chinese venues in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin and Wuhan.