Friday, October 12, 2007

U.S. Soccer Development Academy Showcase

To be a participant in the first U.S. Soccer Development Academy Fall Showcase at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., was a great experience as a referee fortunate enough to be selected to officiate matches involving elite soccer programs from various parts of the United States. The mentorship and instruction provided by elite U.S. Soccer administrators and FIFA referees: Esse Baharmast, Paul Tamberino, Alfred Kleinaitis, Heinz Wolmerath and Terry Vaughn proved invaluable and set the stage for top notch performances by all Referee Academy officials.

The level of matches and sportsmanship demonstrated by the participants of this Academy was extraordinary, as was the camaraderie of all the participating referees. Personally, I was fortunate to officiate two matches during this tournament which tested my abilities as a soccer official. As a first-year National Referee, I was able to work with a range of extremely talented young referees as well as seasoned National Referee candidates.

My assignment on Saturday, Oct. 6, between Crossfire (Wash.) and Atlanta FC (Ga.) provided a high level of play and a showcase of players' abilities. Hopefully, those players will one day display their skills as members of the U.S. National Team.

This program was a great experience and hopefully will lead to the development and advancement of young elite soccer officials within Southern California and the United States as a whole.

All the Best,

Alfredo Munoz Jr.

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