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Jeff Benjamin

A couple of small factual errors that I don't want to mar your otherwise insightful commentary: Claudio Reyna and Kasey Keller never played in MLS. Both have played in Europe since the start of their professional careers.

Andres  Johanning

We know those 2 never played in the USA that is why they did not mention them. If you look there are a few non AMERICANS he listed.
I personally think the biggest problem is that they want the Referee's to work games like theyy did and show ZERO emotion or have ZERO personality skills. OR they want them to be 10 Esse's what ever happened to the Patlaks, Bolus, Domingues, Barnes. The MLS has a lot to do with whom does games.
Even our Assistant Referee's are starting to lag behind because they do not evaluate them

pat smith

i am one of the very few people still active that was involved with OUR BEST REFEREES prior to 1970.Eddie Pearsn told me in 1967 that we didnt have 50 decent referees in the U.S.A.This was the reason he went to work to build a National program.Perhaps there are mistakes being made at the moment,but there is need for patience,perhaps we need to start growing again,we may have an overabunance of referees who dont quite make the grade at the moment but those with the expetise to improve the program must come forward with solutions to help them.Let us swallow our pride from the top to the lowest level and put our official the place they belong

Pat Smith

In 1967,two new professional soccer teams were formed,I say new because a professional league called the A,S.L.was performing primarily in the east.The two new leagues were the U.S.A. league which took whole teams and played them under an Americsan banner,and the N.P.S.L. which took individual players.After a year of bickering one league was formed called the N.A.S.L.It had two commissioners one in east, and one in the west.Before Eddie pearson took over the helm of the referees there was a Scotsman called Sir George Graham who dealt with the referees.Intially there were 60 officials.46 from the U.S.A.7 from Canada, and7 from overseas. One referee from overseas was a F.I.F.A. referee from Israel, the others were from the United Kingdom.The league suffered financially in the early years,and the teams wr reduced. however there was a revival in the early 70s more teams were added, and in consequence more officials.ddie still used overseas referees, and the likes of Courtney Hackett.Reynolds our men learnt a lot from these veterans. The Canadiens provided some top line officials,and with help of instructors like Evans, Baldwin Sumpter,plus the two Canadiens we had a fine corp of officials.Pearson was killed in 1978 and Keith Walker took over we had a meeting of all the top officials on the north American continent talking about refereein in general, and the pro league in particular.If it can be done financially, i would like to see the same cocept used,Bury the hatchett,invite everyone that can help the referee program regardless of personal feelings.I have been a member of the Soccer fraternity in this country since 1953 we need to take a hard look at our referees if we intend to compete at the top level,we have the numbers, which is commendable do we have te quality/


Thanks for your insight into refereeing. I'm 27 and have only begun my refereeing career these past few years, but already I've seen some disheartening things. I would consider myself still pretty young, although I realize I've had a late start to refereeing (with most professional referees starting when they were 14-17), but I've still voiced my desire to have a mentor, to learn as much as possible from the top referees, to become a professional referee myself some day. Well, it's like my requests have fallen on deaf ears. No one seems to be out there who is eager to mentor me, to teach me, to focus their attention and energy on me and so perhaps I'll just be another one to fall through the cracks and go unnoticed.

Does our lack of quality referees have something to do with politics? I've heard it gets very political the higher up you get (grades 4,3 and beyond). That it's all about who you know, how well they know you, etc.

Perhaps soccer is growing so much in the USA and we've got tons and tons of referees, way more than any other country, and yet while we have quantity, we don't have quality b/c the USSF doesn't know how to focus in on a few quality prospects and make sure they develop these referees. Instead, we just spread the time evenly across the board and aren't able to develop quality referees, but just a bunch of ok referees.

Maybe. Just some ideas.


I had high hopes for Mark Geiger in the last RSL game against Houston. In the beginning it seemed like there was hope for this Referee but quickly it all changed. Actually he is quite superior when it comes to officiating Major league soccer. How? He is close to the top of the list as one of the worst referees MLS has. Wait most referees the MLS has are HORRIBLE. Where do they find these guys? Are they government workers (NO accountability)? It is time that the MLS/USSF holds their officials accountable for their decisions. If anything will kill the momentum of Major League Soccer in the USA it will be the poor quality of officiating. Hold these guys accountable for their actions and penalize their $3,500 pay checks.

What am I talking about?
1. Chris Wingert – Red Card OK but Yellow for Instigator Corey Ashe… THAT’S CRAP!
2. How about the “Flagrant Hand Ball” by Goalie Pat Onstad out of the box? NO CALL!
3. At times I thought I was watching another sport because of the constant leveling of players when in the box.
4. There are just too many examples to mention.

I have to mention the NO CLASS play by Houston not returning the ball to RSL after Brian Ching took a five minute dive. I spoke with him personally during the game and he even felt like that was classless by his team. As a national player he should have taken the initiative to return the ball.

Some of the calls are so BAD that it screams online gambling scams. What? A ref might bet on the game… Yes it looks like the refs are supplementing their $3,500 check with an online bet.

The events that transpired in the last minutes of the RSL – Houston game by the fans, players, and coaches was out cry for the league execs. to pull their heads out of their butts and do something about this crap.

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