Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
5. REFEREES: U.S. Soccer launches full-time pro ref program
February 22nd, 2007 12:53AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

There will still be school teachers, accountants and truck drivers refereeing MLS and international games in the USA, but now there will also be full-time professional referees in the middle.

U.S. Soccer has launched a program to employ refs full-time, which exists in only a few nations, including England, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

"This new program will give our best referees the opportunity to focus all of their energies on enhancing the performance of our elite officials on the field," said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati.

The program begins with the hiring of four refs: Jair Marrufo, Ricardo Salazar, Baldomero Toledo and Terry Vaughn.

"The implementation of this program and the hiring of these four professional referees is an important first step," added Gulati. "Moving forward, I expect this program to continue to grow alongside the rest of the sport in the United States."

In 2006, U.S. Soccer referees worked 126 international matches in the United States alone, as well as officiating in numerous international tournaments outside of the country. Additionally, 23 U.S. Soccer referees worked 182 MLS games last year.

"This is a wonderful progression for our referee program," said Esse Baharmast, U.S. Soccer's Director of Advanced & International Referee Development. "We have made great strides as a soccer country through the years and a program like this will allow the elite professionals in this country to focus on the craft of being a referee."

U.S. Soccer's first four full-time pro refs:
Jair Marrufo
Age: 29
U.S. Soccer ref since 1996 and MLS ref since 2002. Son of former FIFA referee Antonio Marrufo of Mexico. Grew up in Texas. Reffed 2006 MLS Cup. Previously worked as a product specialist with Sherwin-Williams.

Ricardo Salazar
Age: 34
FIFA ref since 2005 and MLS ref since 2000. Illinois product. First international match was a friendly between South Korea and Mexico in front of almost 70,000 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum in February of 2006. Prior to joining U.S. Soccer full time, worked as an insurance agent. Resides in Elgin, Ill

Baldomero Toledo
Age: 36
FIFA ref since 2006 and MLS ref since 2003. Completed his schooling in Mexico. Previously an assistant production manager at a Le Chef bakery plant. Lives in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif

Terry Vaughn
Age: 32
Iowa-native has been U.S. Soccer since 1987 and a FIFA referee since 2004. First international assignment was Jamaica-Guatemala in 2004. Reffed several 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. Was the Director of Referees for Iowa Soccer and also worked in security.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: CFU president Gordon Derrick    
"I think it is just politics, people are trying to create an atmosphere. If they can ...
Former USL PRO coach cleared on homicide charges    
Chris Spendlove, a former OKC Energy FC assistant coach, was cleared on charges in the death ...
Orlando City presents new details of downtown stadium    
Orlando City presented additional details of its $155 million downtown stadium that will have an increased ...
Video Pick: Amazing overhead golazo in Paraguay    
The Torneo Clausura season is still young in Paraguay, but it may already have its goal ...
Fox Sports will air all 306 Bundesliga matches    
Fox Sports will debut its coverage of the German Bundesliga on Aug. 14 when defending champion ...
NASL Roundup: Rowdies sign second No. 1 MLS draft pick    
First they signed Freddy Adu, Now, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have signed Omar Salgado, giving them ...
MLS All-Star Game averages 833,000 viewers    
Wednesday's AT&T MLS All-Star Game drew 548,000 viewers for Fox Sports 1's first broadcast of the ...
What They're Saying: Hugo Perez    
"I hereby thank the Salvadoran people for their support in regards to the position of national-team ...
ICYMI | MLS: Drogba gets a rock-star greeting in Montreal    
Hundreds of fans turned out to welcome Didier Drogba to Montreal. Philly's new signing, Tranquillo Barnetta, ...
U.S. Abroad: Torres absent from Copa Libertadores final    
After starting both legs of the semifinals, Jose Torres did not play for Mexico's Tigres in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives