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Class of 2012-13 Platinum Program finalized with selection of four additional officials

U.S. Soccer has selected four additional officials to join the Platinum Program – a platform launched earlier this summer with the intent to prepare a select number of officials for advancement to professional and international competitions. Platinum Program officials will participate in an intensive training program with U.S. Soccer’s top officiating instructors for up to three years.

New Platinum Program selections include referee Cedric Adams of Tampa, Fla.; referee Elie Aguilar of Lewisville, Texas; assistant referee Eduardo Mariscal of Chula Vista, Calif.; and referee Lance Vanhaitsma of Lake Worth, Fla. Six officials were selected earlier this year among the early application process for the Platinum Program.

After a review of more than 350 applicants, 10 highly qualified officials have been selected to the 2012-13 class of Platinum Program participants.

2012-13 Platinum Program Participants:

Official Position USSF Grade Hometown State Association
Adams, Cedric Referee 5 – State Tampa, Fla. Florida
Aguilar, Elie Referee 5 – State Lewisville, Texas Texas
Clark, Richonne Referee 6 – State Milledgeville, Ga. Georgia
DeOliveira, Marcos Referee 5 – State Hillsboro Beach, Fla. Florida
Ibanez, Christina Referee 4 – National Sarasota, Fla. Florida
Koroleva, Katja Referee 4 – National Seattle, Wash. Iowa
Mariscal, Apolinar Assistant Referee 4 – National Chula Vista, Calif. California South
Mariscal, Eduardo Assistant Referee 4 – National Chula Vista, Calif. California South
Sibiga, Robert Referee 4 – National Carmel, N.Y. Eastern New York
Vanhaitsma, Lance Referee 5 – State Lake Worth, Fla. Florida

1 – Admitted in early admissions process (June, 2012)
2 – Admitted in regular admissions process (August, 2012)

The program will be overseen by U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Identification and Training Herb Silva, with the support of the Selection Panel, an advisory group comprised of former and current professional officials. The program is open to male and female officials interested in becoming referees or assistant referees. Participants will attend six national training events for live instruction from U.S. Soccer staff, participate in instructional webinars and receive consistent support from a local mentor. All training will be consistent with the content and methods practiced among active professional referees.

The newly formed Referee Identification and Training Department was launched in the spring of 2012 to focus on state and national level officials and identify and prepare officials with the most potential for the professional and international levels. The department is overseen by Silva, with assistance from the Selection Panel.

Applications are no longer being accepted for the class of 2012-13. Applications for the 2013-14 class will open next year with a limited number of positions for entry into the program.