With the new MLS season little more than a month away, PRO held its annual preseason camp in Houston this past weekend.
On Friday night, General Manager Howard Webb welcomed officials and support staff to the event, along with representatives and guests from US Soccer, Canada Soccer Association, MLS, UEFA and the Professional Soccer Referees Association, which was followed by a review of the 2019 season.
After the opening ceremony, PRO hosted an Awards Dinner where several milestones were recognized, and PRO’s US FIFA-listed officials were presented with their badges for the 2020 season.
The first part of Saturday was spent in groups, attending a variety of education sessions delivered by a range of speakers, which included Director of Senior Match Officials Mark Geiger, Manager of Video Review Operations Greg Barkey, Manager of Coaching, Education and Evaluation Alan Black, guest sports psychologist Dr Joel Fish and UEFA instructor Alan Snoddy.
Former NBA referee and ex-undercover New Jersey State Trooper Bob Delaney delivered an informative and inspiring keynote session to bring the day to an entertaining end.
There were a series of short sessions on Sunday covering a range of topics from technical area code of conduct to sports science, before the camp came to a close.
“Preseason camp provides an opportunity for us to recognize and honor the achievements of last season and reflect on learning points from the year,” explained Webb.
“It is a significant stage in the officials’ preparations as they look ahead to the new campaign; a chance to focus on the areas we are working hard to improve on and to share information with the group. It was a successful couple of days, and the officials will now turn their attentions to their upcoming fitness tests before taking charge of preseason games in February.”