Clemente Lisi interviewed Paul Tamberino, US Soccer’s Director of Referee
Development. Tamberino reffed 78 MLS regular season games and was part of the officiating crew in the MLS’s first six championship games.
His toughest game was as a linesman in do-or-die Honduras-Jamaica World Cup qualifier: "All along the fence were military with their automatic rifles and guard dogs. ... The dogs' barking was louder and I could see them in my peripheral vision. They seemed to be getting closer and closer and I had a brief opportunity to glance behind me and noticed that they were inches from me. ...
"The Hondurans were rocking the [15-foot high] fence with such force, it was a like a fan going back and forth right above me. This went on for about 10 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. It finally went back to normal after Honduras scored. The fans backed off, the military and dogs backed off and I could breathe a little easier."
His advice to upcoming refs: "Whenever I’m asked this question, I tell people three things: One, you must love what you are going to do. Two, you must always put the game first and yourself second. And three, you must be fair."