When Logan Brown was assigned to New England Revolution versus Orlando City in Week 27 of MLS last season, he had no idea that he would be on the PRO roster for the 2016 campaign.
But that proved to be the case, putting the frosting on the cake in what was a memorable 2015 on a personal level for the AR. In addition to joining PRO’s ranks and the assignment at Gillette Stadium, Brown also was handed fifth official duties at the USL Championship Final.
“I was sitting at work, my phone went off and I had an email saying you’ve been assigned to a game, and I’m thinking ‘what game is it at this time of the year?’ Then I find out it’s the USL Final. I just put my phone down and I was like ‘this is awesome’. There really are no words.
“Being there and being part of the team was great. There were some new challenges, it was my first experience as a fifth official. It was actually really cold. I think we hit every weather pattern… hail, snow, sleet, rain! But we just got through it as a team and we all did well.
“As for my MLS assignment, not knowing that I was going to be an AR with PRO this year, I was like ‘wow!’ I’ve still got the picture with Greg Barkey, Mark Geiger and Jorge Gonzalez. Three guys who have hundreds and hundreds of games’ experience and I probably shouldn’t say how many years on me – but it was great!”
The 25-year-old met up with Barkey again back in January, when taking part in his first PRO preseason in Phoenix, Arizona, with Barkey is now in a new role as Manager of Assistant Referees.
Brown was one of four new assistant referees – along with Cameron Blanchard, Jose Da Silva and Jeffrey Greeson – who faced the fitness test, as well as being hauled up in front of PRO and FIFA evaluators to give their opinion on debatable decisions.
“Camp was brilliant,” continued Brown. “It’s fantastic being around some of the best in the world and now being considered in that group. Coming in as the new guy, there’s a lot of emotion. You look around the room and you see all the guys you look up to, now you’re sitting next to them and potentially running with them.
“When it comes to the fitness test, you’ve done everything up to that point to prepare, so you just do what you’ve done before and hopefully everything falls into place.
“Going up and having to explain decisions was nerve-racking though. I haven’t had quite the level of training some of the other guys, but we all come from the same place and I was able to make a good decision, judging by the applause in the room anyway!”
Since he first took up officiating at the age of 14, it’s been a long journey to MLS for Brown. Following a high-school injury, he turned his attentions to refereeing and is now reaping the rewards.
“I always look at refereeing as a hobby, I love to do it. The monetary value is insignificant. Over the years I’ve met so many great people and the experiences I’ve been able to have are fantastic. And so being in the company of these people I look up to is very humbling.
“This is a new chapter and I’m going to use everything that I’ve learned at camp and move forward with it. It’s been a great experience and I can’t wait to continue the good things to come.”