D.C. United’s liaison team have been recognized for their work by being presented with PRO’s Ernie Branco Liaison Award for 2016.
Named after the late Ernie Branco – a U.S.S.F. National Referee Emeritus and New England Revolution liaison to Major League Soccer, who tragically died in a car accident in 2013 – the award recognizes the members of staff who have shown fantastic attitude and acted professionally in support of the officials.
The man in charge of liaison at DCU’s RFK Stadium is Allan Hall, who has been the liaison at the club since 2005, having been a volunteer for 10 years prior.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the match officials and PRO for my efforts,” Hall reflected.
“To be mentioned in the same category as the late Ernie Branco and Julio Cesar Davila – last year’s award winner – is greatly appreciated and most unexpected.
“I started as a volunteer in 1995 before becoming liaison in 2005. I enjoy the role as it allows me stay involved with the sport I love most.
“I was recommended for the position by a couple of then Referee Assessors, Jim McGoldrick and Milton Olazagatsi, both of whom have since passed.”
The Ernie Branco Award, established by PRO in 2015, is voted on by all of the Organization’s officials who worked MLS matches during the year.
Each MLS club has a liaison officer and it’s their responsibility to ensure the officials have everything they require on gameday, which is something Hall has a passion for.
“I enjoy supporting the hardest working team on the pitch,” Hall beamed.
“My role allows the match officials to relax and concentrate on their jobs, by providing for their needs for a few hours.
“When the thanks, handshakes, hugs and back slaps come at the end of the night while dropping the crew off back at the hotel, I know I’ve done a good job and it makes it all worthwhile.”
PRO Referee Manager Michael Kennedy added: “Allan and the team at D.C. always do whatever they can to assist the officials, limiting any stress and providing a professional setting so that they can do their work.
“When I was refereeing, I remember that he always had a smile on his face and gave a warm welcome to the group.”
Ernie Branco Award – previous winners: