U.S. Referee Connection!

Referees from all over Southern California, and the world, unite!

Francisco Davila, founder of U.S. Referee Connection, wants soccer referees of all ability levels to know that he is in their corner, or touchline, or 18-yard box.

He created a website, USRefereeConnection.com, after spending long nights considering how he could help referees get better in realtime, rather than just taking classes in FIFA’s Laws booklet. (Although that’s important, too.)

“It’s a referee community,” said Davila, a United States Soccer Federation referee. “We want this community to grow up. (USRefereeConnection.com) has many members, and more referee friends join us from outside the U.S. now. We’ve had people visit out site from Japan, Greece, Ireland, Central America and South America. We expect to just grow more and more.”

Davila’s non-profit gathered 59 referees (not 60?) and attended the international friendly between the United States and Chile at the Home Depot Center in Carson on Saturday night, Jan. 22, 2010.

He purchased tickets for this inaugural event and even arrainged a dinner with the match referees at a local eatery. He said he’s doing this — not because he loves soccer — but because he loves being a soccer referee.

“I love being a referee. I like to make new friends. I thought this event would be one way to bring referees together. Get to know each other. Have more friends, and enjoy the game together. Friendship, and appreciation for what we do,” Davila said.

It may sound pollyannish but Davila is sincere. He’s a soccer referee in as many as four levels, from AYSO to high school, club and adult league. He knows the game and why it needs referees. His interest is in creating quality referees.

And I’m on board. I aspire to be at least at USSF referee and have taken steps toward attaining that goal. Anything I can learn from more experienced referees is of interest to me. It has to be.

Seriously, why wouldn’t I be a part of something like this?

I met another referee, Denny Liles, on Saturday night. He’s the Referee Adminstrator for a local AYSO region and a relatively new friend of Davila’s. Turns out, they’re both soccer referees whose children play in the same AYSO region. Who would’ve thought they’d be fast friends?

“Francisco’s a friend of mine. I support him whole-heartedly in what he’s doing,” said Liles. “I think (U.S. Referee Connection) can be very beneficial. There’s a lot of us out there doing youth level, doing recreational level. You know, we’ll never get to FIFA level, but it’s good to get together to talk and share experience and make us all better.”

In short, Davila has created a group that is dedicated to improving soccer referees of all levels by attending, in convert, top-flight North American soccer matches and speaking to the match referees (when it can be coordinated) afterward. 

It’s genius. And like no other opportunity on (perhaps) Planet Earth.

Referees from all over Southern California, and the world, unite!

My future referee *fingers crossed* looks on as the United States Men's National Soccer Team played to level terms, 1-1, vs. Chile on Saturday night at the HDC.

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1 Comment

Filed under Journalist, Referee, Soccer, USMNT

One response to “U.S. Referee Connection!

  1. I like your blog about U.S. Referee Connection! | The Middle Third

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