Tuesday, October 16, 2007

U.S. Soccer Fall Showcase Weekend

From October 5-8, 2007, I was very fortunate to participate in the first ever segment of the newly implemented Developmental Academy Program. The showcase event took place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., beginning with a meeting on Friday night, games all day on Saturday and Sunday, and concluded with just two games on Monday morning.

The teams that participated were from all across the country including the U.S. Under-16 and Under-18 Men’s National Teams. The games I worked were all very competitive and exciting. I felt the players were placed in the best environment possible for them to not only compete at a high level but also show off their talent and skills in front of the men’s national coaching staff.

This was not just an opportunity for the players but for the referees as well. These games presented some very good decision making opportunities and challenges for us to demonstrate our abilities as officials. The players were in very good physical shape giving the matches a very fast pace. Not only were we being tested on our knowledge and application of refereeing but our fitness was put to the test as well.

All of our matches were evaluated by the top referees, instructors, mentors, and assessors in the country. We were given immediate feedback on our performance about what we did well, what we didn’t do well, what we could have done better, and how we could improve. This weekend was not about passing or failing, but rather constructive criticism and making us better referees. I would say to any other referee that may be asked to be a part of this program that you if you are given an opportunity to participate, you should.

I think I can speak for all of the Southern California referees that worked this opening weekend that we all had a great time, saw good soccer, learned a lot, and are hoping to be included in future Developmental Academy matches and events.

Thank you very much to U.S. Soccer for creating, funding, and supporting such a program and most importantly for including the referees in your mission to improve the game of soccer as a whole in our country. As well thank you very much to Esse, Alfred, Paul, Terry, Nasser, Heinz, Thomas, and Heros for taking time to organize this experience and for helping us all weekend.

All the Best,

Daniel Radford

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