Major League Soccer
US Soccer

Kennedy settling into role

January 16, 2013

It's been a busy few months for Michael Kennedy, as he settles into life as the Professional Referee Organization's new Referees Manager.

The 51-year-old actively officiated in Major League Soccer up until last year, with his last match being a 1-1 draw between Portland Timbers and DC United on September 29th 2012.

Since then, it's been all-go for the former FIFA referee and he believes the experience he has in MLS will benefit him in his new position within PRO.

“Initially, the offer to work for PRO was quite a surprise,” Kennedy explained to

“Thankfully, Peter [Walton] was flexible with my schedule and with the offer, so that I had time to contemplate it - that was good. I knew it was the tail-end of my career, so it worked out well.

“I was refereeing on the Saturday in Portland and then Monday I was in New York with Peter and it's been all-go since.

“It's very exciting and I'm honoured to have the chance to try and help the referees meet their goals, and so far it's been great.

“It will definitely be an advantage that I worked in the MLS so recently. Having been in that role as a referee under the pressure, I know what referees are feeling and that will help.”

Kennedy's role within PRO will see him work very closely with the officials, looking after their welfare and day-to-day comforts.

He will also be a key figure alongside General Manager Peter Walton and Training and Development Manager Paul Rejer at PRO training camps throughout the season.

And Kennedy believes the regular meetings at camps will be the key to ensuring improvements in officiating.

“They [the training camps] will provide a great opportunity to discuss what the trends have been, how we can improve, the fitness aspect, and enable us to monitor everything.

“Also, having Matt Hawkey [Sports Scientist] with us will be a huge benefit, as will Peter and Paul who have vast experience from the English Premier League.

“Peter and Paul have been fantastic and we have tried to bring all our ideas together, back and forth, with different topics on how we should approach the camps.

“All the officials have been brilliant and I think they are really excited about the new approach. It's certainly full steam ahead now with trying to make everything as good as we possible can.”

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