US SoccerUS Soccer

Referee Director Candidates for U.S. Soccer Federation National Board of Directors

Following are the names of those individuals nominated to represent the referees for the next term on the U.S. Soccer Federation National Board of Directors as the Referee Director. Ballots have been sent to all eligible votes.

Personal information and photos from candidates that submitted such information are featured below.



Angelo Bratsis       Barry Towbin         Curt Hamlin

John Bouda          John Motta              John Murillo
Joshua Patlak      Mehdi Shahpar       Michael Robinson 

Mike McMullen     Nasser Sarfaraz     Osman Kavountzis

Wally Lyslo            Doug Ferguson      Dr. Jack Baptista 

James Norris       Jose Vargas            Ken Baldeosingh 

Kevin Yant            Larry Gagna             Orley Bills  

Randy Francis     Steve Siomos          Tom Freker

Tony Cullen            


John Bouda

I continue to devote myself full time to protecting the dignity and safety of the referees, while preserving the integrity and independence of the referee programs.

Why this election so soon after the last election?  The past year was an unusual year, a “stub year”, as the USSF changed its organizational calendar, so rather than serving for two years, I agreed to serve for just over one year to help with the transition.  The referee election calendar is now in synch with the USSoccer calendar.

Dramatic changes are underway to the structure and governance of the USSF, and with the current grievances levied against the USSF, it is critical that the referee program is protected. The referee program is a service program that must remain independent of USSF members and not become the political tool of one group or another.

As your current Referee Representative, I will continue using my experience on the National Board of Directors and the National Referee Committee to ensure that referees at all levels get the support they need to officiate a safe, fair, fun game of soccer. 
I’ve been a USSF referee since 1986; the SRA of North Carolina since 1990, and am a State Referee Instructor (prov.) and a State Referee Assessor.

I commit to you the knowledge, the desire, and the time to help us achieve our goals for the game and our goals for the referees across America.

Back to top

Angelo Bratsis

For over 40 years, Angelo Bratsis has served the Federation in many capacities both on and off the field.  As the United States Soccer Federation representative on the International Panel of Officials of FIFA for 11 plus years, he officiated in 13 countries, on four continents, at over 130 international games.  He is a recipient of the FIFA Special Referee Merit Award, the USSF Eddie Pearson Award, a member of the Massachusetts Soccer Hall of Fame and the New England Soccer Hall of Fame.

As a member of the National Referee Committee and as the National Director of Assessment he was instrumental in developing a standardized curriculum and policies and procedures within the USSF Assessment Program.  He is currently serving as a National Instructor, a National Assessor as well as a USSF National Assessment Program Coach Mentor.

As a National  Instructor, he has conducted and participated in hundreds of seminars and clinics throughout the United States.  His audiences have included referees and assessors at all levels, and he is well known for his passion for the referee program, for his straight forward approach and his understanding of the needs and concerns of referees.
Service before Self  Angelo has clearly been very active in recruiting, training, evaluating and developing referees.  His lifelong pursuit has been to establish and implement the highest standards within the National Referee Program as well as being an advocate of referee rights and welfare.

Back to top


Curt Hamlin

US Soccer has come a tremendous way in both image and abilities in the past few years. This is true with not only the teams, but the referees as well. The education (on and off the field) which we have developed and used is finally paying off and there are other countries now turning to us for ideas and materials. We have to continue growing and this growth has to happen even faster now to stay ahead. This growth is not just numbers, but also in abilities which is harder to measure.

I have felt it very important to get involved and help wherever possible since joining US Soccer. I was on the local board for many years, and then joined the state committee for the past six years in many capacities. For the past two plus years I have been the SRA for Western New York. The committee has been able to implement many changes in order to enhance the abilities of the referees and to get the tools needed for all of the referees to become the best that they desire to be.

As a referee, instructor, assessor and assignor, I have been able to work with a wide range of referees from recreational referees all the way upto the referees selected to work the pro-level games.  Two way communications is imperative between US Soccer and the individual referee level in order for us to make US Soccer the best that it desires to be.

Back to top

Osman Kavountzis

I was born in Greece on the island of Rhodes on October 2, 1943. I spent most of my childhood playing soccer; in 1959 as a young child, I joined a local soccer club called Diagoras F. C. I went through their youth development program till I was drafted into the military. 

While working as an electrician in my teens, I played as a semiprofessional in those days; there were no big paydays. In October 1963, I joined the navy, and stayed with it until December 1965.

After completing my service in the navy, I immigrated to Denmark in the fall of 1966 and worked there as an electrician in a train factory. I spent two years there. In December 1968, I immigrated to the United States.

After arriving here, I continued my education and got my high school diploma.  I worked during the day for the phone company, and went to school at night. In 1971, I was hired by New York Telephone, as a Switching Equipment Technician and stayed there through years of name changes (Nynex, Bell Atlantic, Verizon).  I retired in May 2003 after 32 years of service.

In 1976, I got married and moved to Teaneck, New Jersey 1977, where I played for a team in an amateur league. Before becoming a referee, I was a local recreational referee and coach. In 1985, I took the entrance test and became a U.S.S.F. registered referee. Between 1993 and 1999 I was a grade five.  Over my career as a ref, I have worked a lot of games and tournaments, including Semiprofessional, Amateur games, and Youth Tournaments and ODP.  I have Referee at Tampa Sun Bowl tournament in Florida for the past 12 years.

Since 1999, I have opted to become Emeritus, but I have continued referring Youth, High school games. Also since 1999 to present I have been Refereeing College game.

I speak Turkish, Greek and English fluently. I am confident that I will be productive member of the U.S.S.F. Board of Director’s Position with my knowledge of the game of soccer as a referee and a coach the years that I spent as a child and adult in the soccer as we say in Europe (futbol) fields.

Thank you,
Osman Kavountzis
(Letter edited to fit 250-word maximum)

Back to top

Wally Lyslo

It will be an honor to serve as your referee representative on the Board of Directors for US Soccer.  My involvement with soccer spans a period of over 20 years as a parent, referee, instructor and administrator.

I served for a number of years as a youth regional referee administrator and then in 1996 I became Chairman of the Referee Committee for US Youth Soccer, a position held through 2004.  In addition I have worked for you as a member of the US Soccer Referee Committee since 1995.

I am proud to say that during my tenure on the referee committee many positive changes have been made to the National Program for Referee Development.  It has been my privilege to attend national camps and youth national championships to interact with and listen to many of your thoughts.  It is a necessity, with more than 133,000 registered referees, to gain insight into ideas that will help us improve our overall strategy to better serve all referees.  I have worked with referees and administrators from almost all of our 55 state associations to identify up-and-coming referees.

The referee representative is only one voice.  It is imperative to enlist support of other board members to implement recommendations from the referee committee.  I have worked with these members before to obtain favorable action on our requests.

I welcome the challenge to continue to serve for the benefit of US Soccer.

Thank you for your consideration and your vote.

Wally Lyslo

Back to top

John P. Motta

I was informed by the US Soccer Federation that my name was placed into nomination for the position of Referee Representative on the National Board of Directors.  I was honored when I was informed.  I was not seeking to run for this position, but out of respect for the person who nominated me, I will be honored to serve the referee community if I’m elected.

As you can see from my attached resume, I have the knowledge to fulfill this position.  I have served on the National Board of Directors as the Executive Vice President of US Soccer.  I was also Chairman of the National Referee Committee during that same time period.  I continue to serve on the National Referee Committee today.  I’m also the current Chairman of the US Adult Referee Committee.  I have good knowledge of the entire referee program.

I am a firm believer in open communication.  If elected, I will seek your concerns and recommendations prior to any National Referee Committee meeting.  For those of you that know me well, know that I am not afraid to speak up and fight for what is right.  Your voices will be heard! 

I believe that we should hold open forums to discuss referee issues.  We need to be in the same room together to talk about issues, both administrators and referees.  Putting our heads together will only move the program forward.  I will recommend that we hold these Regional forums once a year.

(Letter edited to fit 250-word maximum)

Back to top




John C. Murillo
I have been activity involved in the sport of soccer for thirty four plus years.  I have had the opportunity to hold numerous board positions at youth level and amateur level.  Currently license Grade 5 Referee, State Assessor, Instructor and Assignor.


Currently servicing  California Soccer Association North (governing body for amateur soccer) as Vice-Present Game Officials and assignor.  In addition serve as 1st Vice President  and assignor for the San Francisco Football League. And member of California Northern Referee Association (CNRA).

I have travel extensively throughout Northern California promoting Amateur Soccer.  These presentations have been directed to senior youth officials and those seeking to improve and advance themselves.

I have established myself with Latin Referee Association promoting advancement. And as a result I have open the door of communication for these associations.

I'm activity involved with National Candidate's and National Referees in area of physical training and assigning of top amateur games in Northern California. Within the realm of National Referees, I have been fortunate contributing to the promotion of approximately fifteen (15) National Referees.  I have also established a close working relationship with Professional Assignor in Northern California.

In all my endeavor's I have encourage advancement for up grading and personal achievement.

Though my vision and creativity I have established numerous Advanced Referee Clinics utilizing of top level speaks within and outside of California.  Thus ensuring officials are being challenged.

(Letter edited to fit 250-word maximum)

Back to top

Joshua Patlak

In December 1994, I was among over eighty representatives that were invited to attend the USSF Referee Strategic Planning Summit.  We were brought together to define the future for referee programs, and to create an environment in which the needs of the Game would take precedence over any single vested interest represented.  The three day summit purposefully created a Vision, a Mission, Goals and Strategies for the entire referee enterprise through the year 2005 in response to the needs of the Game and in the context of trends influencing the referee community.

I have witnessed this journey first hand and feel compelled by this nomination to continue seeking the future for Referees and the Game.  As Referee Representative to the NBOD and the NRC I intend to pursue the consensus set forth by the 1994 Summit with ambition to surpass our ten year plan so that we can achieve our vision:

“By the year 2005, the USSF Referee Program should become the preeminent worldwide model for referee excellence in officiating, administration, instruction and development at all levels of the game.”

I joined the USSF in 1979.  I have been registered with Illinois, New York, and California State Associations.  My experience spans the full spectrum of Refereeing as an International FIFA Referee, National Assessor, and Instructor.  Currently, I am involved with the Mentorship Program and the Advanced Referee Development Program for the California Youth Soccer Association, as well as assisting the SRA, SDI, and SDA with clinics at all levels.

Back to top

Mike Robinson

I am Mike Robinson and am currently the State Director of Assessment for Kansas.  A State Emeritus Referee and State Referee Assessor, as well as an ITIP-trained Referee Instructor, I am pleased and humbled to be a nominee for Referee Director to the National Committee. 

I have fourteen years soccer experience on both sides of the ball – as referee and coach.  My experience in the game, both indoor (futsal and North-American indoor) and outdoor, includes club administrator, referee, referee assessor and instructor, and club and high school soccer coach.  I have served as the Kansas State Director of Referee Assessment since January 2003 and had previously served as the Kansas State Director of Instruction.  In addition to my referee training, I am a USSF D Licensed coach and hold a NSCAA National Coaching Diploma.  I am currently a curriculum development specialist for the US Army, following nine-years as a high school English teacher.  Previously, I was an Army officer, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1991. 

Alone among US sports, USSF provides a direct link from entry-level to FIFA-list referee.  The association needs to celebrate this linkage; our sport will continue to grow and prosper only so long as we protect and nourish entry-level referees at the roots to the flowering of our increasingly respected FIFA referees at the top.  One cannot flourish without the other.

Back to top

Nasser Sarfaraz

Former SDI, CAS
Former SDA, CAS
Former national referee
National Assessor
US Soccer referee mentor/coach
US Soccer referee instructor
US Soccer A licensed coach

Back to top

S.Mehdi R. Shahpar

Education:  MS – Inormation & Computer Si. & Industrial Management   
Ref. Grade: 5    
Work Experience: Over 25 years as a referee in the US and Middle-East17, at different level .
Been Involved in the game of Soccer for over 45 years as a player, coach or referee.
Strengths: Integrity, Mission Skills, Pride, Management.
Goal:  To represent all referees on the USSF Board in the best possible way

Back to top

Barry Michael Towbin

New Jersey State Youth Referee Administrator
New Jersey State Youth Assignor Coordinator
State 5 Referee
State Instructor
State Assessor
Assignor Trainer
USSF National Pool Instructor
New Jersey Youth Soccer Executive Committee
New Jersey State Cup Committee
US Youth Soccer Association Region 1 Referee Committee
New Jersey Adult Referee of the Year 1999
USASA Region 1 Referee of the Year 2002

27 plus years of experience in USSF has allowed me to understand the needs and concerns of the referees, instructors, assessors, assignors and how each one of them effects the development of the game.  I have been involved in rewriting the Grade 9 Recreational Referee Course, the Referee Bridge (Grade 9 to Grade 8) Course and was the Project Leader for the US Youth Soccer Modified Playing Rules for U6, U8, U10 and U12 age groups.

Back to top


Kevin Yant

My aspirations in soccer, is simply, continue to Train, Assess/Mentor, and Promote Referees.  Working with the National Program in Instruction and Assessing the last 6 years has brought a tremendous amount of knowledge.  Over the last 8 years I have worked closely with the Youth and Amateurs at various tournaments working in developing Referees.  The last Four years I have developed the Mentoring program at Region IV Youth Championships.  Promoting and Developing Referees is what I am about.  The game of soccer has brought me far more rewards than I could every dreamed of.  

I am honored to be nominated on the Referee Board of Directors.  If elected I bring my experience and knowledge to the Referee program.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Current licenses:    
National Emeritus Referee   
National Instructor & (Staff) 
National Assessor    
NISOA Emeritus National Referee
NISOA National Assessor
NISOA National Instructor

SDI of Colorado from 2001 – 2005  Level C Coaches License


        CANADA 4 GAMES                          M.L.S. & A-LEAGUE GAMES 9 years      Referee and Assistant
        ENGLAND 3 GAMES                        PDL GAMES   10 years      Referee and Assistant
        USA 4 GAMES
 AMATURE REGIONALS             5 years    
      FINAL MATCH                         4 years 
 AMATURE NATIONALS              5 years
      FINAL MATCH                         2 years
 AMATURE TOURNAMENTS      29 Tournaments

COLLEGE GAMES:                                              NCAA REGIONAL FINAL       3 years   
 COLLEGE MEN & WOMEN        6 years
 BIG 12 POST TOURNAMENT     4 years    
 RMAC COLLEGE                       14 years
 RMAC FINAL                                 2 years           

(Letter edited to fit 250-word maximum)

Back to top