Major League Soccer
US Soccer

The inaugural Platinum Program class has been announced

Ten young officials have been selected from a pool of more than 350 applicants to participate in a new program for potential world-class referees and assistant referees.

The program, created and run by the newly-formed Referee Identification and Training Department of U.S. Soccer, is designed to increase the officiating ability of a selected number of male and female officials to a professional level. Participants will be provided with up to three years of personalized training in preparation for assignments in domestic professional leagues and on the international stage.

Overseeing the program is U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Identification and Training Herb Silva, who is supported by former and active professional officials. It is comprised of six national training events, webinars and consistent support from a local mentor. All PRO training will contain the same content and methods shared with current professional referees.

The application process was conducted in two phases with the first six referees being announced in July, with an additional four being added at the end of August. Already confirmed is Florida native Marcos DeOliveira, Christina Ibanez, also from Florida, along with Richonne Clark (Georgia), Katja Koroleva (Washington), Robert Sibiga (New York) and assistant referee Apolinar Mariscal (California). The second group of acceptances included another Florida pair, in Lance Vanhaitsma and Cedric Adams, as well as Texan Elie Aguilar and Mariscal Apolinar from California.

The application process has now closed for the class of 2012/13 and will reopen next year with limited spaces for the 2013/14 class.

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