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U.S. Soccer launches Platinum Program to accelerate high potential officials to pro ranks

U.S. Soccer is launching the Platinum Program to train a select number of high potential male and female officials to become professional officials. The program is designed to provide 12 officials with up to three years of personalized training in preparation for assignments at the professional and international level.

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

After completing the review of early applications, six highly qualified young officials have been selected as part of the initial class of Platinum Program participants.

2012 Platinum Program Participants:

Official Position USSF Grade Hometown State Association
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
Sibiga, Robert Referee 4 – National Carmel, N.Y. Eastern New York

The application process has been closed for interested officials, and the remaining selections will be made by Aug. 31.

Silva and the newly formed Selection Panel will monitor performances at targeted identification events this summer and utilize existing performance information from youth, amateur and professional games to finalize the selection process for the remaining six spots in the program.

The newly formed Referee Identification and Training Department was launched in the spring of 2012 to work with state and national level officials and promote the most promising officials to the professional and international levels. The department is overseen by Silva, with assistance from a group of former professional and international officials comprising the Selection Panel.

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