Professional Referee Organization

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Professional Referee Organization
Professional Referee Organization official logo.jpg
Founded November 2012
Country United States and Canada

Professional Referee Organization (PRO) is the organization responsible for managing the referee and assistant referee program in professional soccer leagues in the United States and Canada, working alongside the United States Soccer Federation, Major League Soccer, Canadian Soccer Association, the North American Soccer League, the United Soccer League, the National Women's Soccer League and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The organization’s targets are to increase the quality of officiating in U.S. and Canadian professional leagues, develop more professional-quality officials at a younger age, and produce officials who will represent the United States and Canada in FIFA competitions.[1]


The U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer joined forces in 2012 to create the Professional Referee Organization and the aims for PRO is to develop a higher standard of officiating at a younger age and to produce referees who can represent the United States and Canada in FIFA competitions.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said: “We’ve always understood that the development of referees is an important aspect to the growth of the game in the United States.

“PRO is another step toward the improvement and professionalization of our top referees. With the additional resources and funding provided by the formation of PRO, we will continue to build upon the progress we’ve already made.”

Heading up PRO is Peter Walton, a former referee who officiated just under 200 matches in the Premier League in England.

The Commissioner of the MLS, Don Garber, was delighted to get Walton on board.

He said: “MLS and U.S. Soccer proudly welcome PRO General Manager Peter Walton, who will utilize his exceptional experience as a referee and as an administrator, along with substantial resources, to help MLS achieve its vision of setting the worldwide standard in officiating.”

Walton has been involved with professional soccer since he joined the English Football League as an assistant referee in 1993 before advancing to the FIFA panel of Assistants in 1996, and then onto the Referees panel of the Football League in 1998. He accepted a full-time position as a referee in the Premier League in 2003 and, in 2007, completed the Advanced Course for Referee Instructors hosted by CONMEBOL and FIFA in Ecuador.

Walton commented: “I’m looking forward to the next stage of my career as the general manager of the Professional Referee Organization.

“The formation of PRO by U.S. Soccer and MLS provides a great opportunity to increase the development of referees and improve the overall quality of refereeing in the U.S. professional leagues. It’s a worthy challenge and I’m excited to get started.”[2]

PRO model benefits[edit]

The PRO model allows for increased funding towards the referee program, the hiring of experienced technical staff, improved training opportunities for officials, additional identification and training opportunities for up-and-coming officials, amplified numbers of full-time referees employed, and raise the investment toward sports science.

MLS Referee and Assistant Referee of the Year award[edit]

For a list of recipients before PRO's creation in 2012, see: MLS Referee of the Year Award.

Since PRO's inception:

Year Referee Assistant Referee
2012 Silviu Petrescu Ian Anderson
2013 Hilario Grajeda Kermit Quisenberry
2014 Mark Geiger Paul Scott
2015 Alan Kelly Corey Parker
2016 Alan Kelly Frank Anderson

[3] [4]


Referee Edvin Jurisevic


Assistant Referees[edit]

Felisha Mariscal -- one of the two female assistant referees in 2015
  • Frank Anderson
  • Ian Anderson
  • Marco Arruda
  • Kyle Atkins
  • Claudiu Badea
  • Peter Balciunas
  • Daniel Belleau
  • Andrew Bigelow
  • Cameron Blanchard
  • Eric Boria
  • Phillipe Briere
  • Logan Brown
  • Mark Cahen
  • James Conlee
  • Jose Da Silva
  • Brian Dunn
  • Gianni Facchini
  • Joe Fletcher
  • Richard Gamache
  • Adam Garner
  • Jeffrey Greeson
  • Jeremy Hanson
  • Jeff Hosking
  • Sean Hurd
  • Jonathan Johnson
  • Scott Kachmarik
  • Mike Kampmeinert
  • Kevin Klinger
  • Kyle Longville
  • Craig Lowry
  • Peter Manikowski
  • Apolinar Mariscal
  • Eduardo Mariscal
  • Felisha Mariscal
  • Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
  • CJ Morgante
  • Jeff Muschik
  • Matt Nelson
  • Kathryn Nesbitt
  • Corey Parker
  • Brian Poeschel
  • Kermit Quisenberry
  • Corey Rockwell
  • Mike Rottersman
  • Chris Strickland
  • Danny Thornberry
  • Nick Uranga
  • Anthony Vasoli
  • Eric Weisbrod
  • Jason White
  • Adam Wienckowski


4th Officials[edit]

  • Mathieu Bourdeau
  • Alex Chilowicz
  • Marcus De Oliveira
  • Daniel Fitzgerald
  • Jaime Herrera
  • Baboucarr Jallow
  • Mark Kadlecik
  • Alejandro Mariscal
  • Younes Marrakchi
  • Caleb Mendez
  • Tyler Ploeger
  • Daniel Radford
  • Nima Saghafi
  • Kevin Terry Jr.
  • Rubiel Vazquez


Support Staff[edit]

Position Staff
General Manager Peter Walton
Video Assistant Referee Manager Howard Webb
Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer
Executive Assistant Sarah Bettison
Referee Manager Michael Kennedy
Chief Quality Officer Nick Primavera
Assignment & Travel Coordinator Alan Brown
Financial Controller John Loder
Payroll Coordinator Dax Almazan
Sports Scientist Matt Hawkey
Assistant Sports Scientist Kevin Huet
Women's Referee Manager Sandra Serafini
Manager of Assistant Referees Greg Barkey
Nutritionist Gena Wollenberg
Match Official Development Manager Alex Prus
Regional Development Assistant Erich Simmons
Regional Development Assistant Alan Black
Regional Development Assistant Brenda Wright




  • Arturo Angeles
  • Gordon Arrowsmith
  • Brendan Barry
  • Amato DeLuca
  • Alfred Kleinaitis
  • Jozsef Michna
  • George Noujaim
  • Erich Simmons



External links[edit]