Thursday, February 22, 2024

Eric Boria: Retired from FIFA, but as focused as ever

The MLS Cup Playoffs, the Pan American Games Final, the U.S. Open Cup Final, the CONCACAF Gold Cup twice, the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the FIFA World Cup.

Eric Boria’s career has taken him to numerous countries and an array of stadiums, working alongside various officiating colleagues from around the world, watched by thousands of fans.

But the PRO assistant referee made the decision to retire from the FIFA ranks last year, and he was recognized at preseason camp for his international service.

“The recognition I received at camp has allowed me to have a think back on my career, and being a part of a group of people like those at PRO is special,” Boria, who had been on the FIFA panel since 2011, told

“I have to mention the 2014 World Cup first, but I always put the 2011 Pan American Games as one of my favourites.

“It was my first FIFA tournament; my first international experience, and I went out and got into a great routine of training and performing.

“There was a great tournament atmosphere and I worked the semi-final and the final, so it ended very well. That launched me into being a candidate for the World Cup project.”

Although he has stepped down from his FIFA duties, Boria remains on the PRO roster for 2017 and his hunger is as strong as ever.

He has run the line at 130 MLS regular season games to date, and is set for his first appearance of the season in Week 3, at Bobby Dodd Stadium for Atlanta United versus Chicago Fire.

The AR has been assigned alongside referee Jose Carlos Rivero, fellow assistant Corey Rockwell, and fourth official Marcos DeOliveira, and he is looking forward to being back out there with his colleagues, with a sole focus on the league now that his international career has come to an end.

“It will be great to be working regularly again,” Boria added. “I’m also excited for the new teams coming in to MLS and the new combinations that brings.

“When you have been through the trenches with some of the guys you get a good sense of camaraderie.

“We’re the only ones who know what it is like to make a split second decision with the eyes of the world on you. When you’re working with a team and you have to make decisions on a field, you instantly have respect for each other.”

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