CHICAGO (July 8, 2013) – The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced the graduation of the first three officials from the Platinum Program: Katja Koroleva, Christina Unkel and Robert Sibiga. All three have moved on to the professional ranks as PRO officials after a successful year in U.S. Soccer’s intensive training program for select officials.
The Platinum Program provides select up-and-coming male and female officials with up to three years of personalized training in preparation for assignments at the professional and international level. Training is provided through a number of national training events, instructional webinars and through the support of mentors. ...
See the whole story here, courtesy of US Soccer.
Kicking Back Comments: Congratulations to all, and a significant accomplishment to be sure. Even in "my time" as one of the first in a generation to go "coast to coast" from youth to amateur to professional, the programs and available resources have become so much more advanced and structured to allow referees to flourish.
Long gone are the days of being "discovered" in a Sunday "ethnic league" match. While certainly that experience is absolutely necessary to be able to survive at the international level with resources such as those created by Dr. Silva, these modern day referees have some of, if not the best, training in the world today.