By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
With higher per game attendance in 2011 than either the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, Major League Soccer has reached an unprecedented level of popularity in the United States and Canada. And in this, its 17th season, MLS attendance is up 10% over last year’s record totals.
Besides the MLS players and coaches who refined their skills in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), we are also proud of MLS referees who cut their teeth officiating ENYYSA games before the pros came calling.
Jorge Gonzalez of Baldwin has been officiating MLS for the past several years and refereed the conference finals in both 2010 and 2011.
“In my opinion, Jorge is the best referee in MLS,” commented Eastern New York State Referee Administrator Howard Rubinstein.
J.C. Rivero of Elmsford is currently serving MLS as a fourth official and should soon be seen in the middle as a ref.
New Hyde Park’s Brian Dunn will be serving as a MLS assistant referee this year. This has been a very heady past six months for Brian because in November 2011, he was selected Referee of the Year by his colleagues in the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA). In December, Brian was honored as the Eastern New York Referee of the Year in a selection by ENYYSA and the Eastern New York State Senior Association. He was chosen as the top ref among the more than 2,000 registered officials in Eastern New York.
Jorge, J.C. and Brian are National Referees from Eastern New York as are Nabil Al-Saidi, David Bork, Emilie Buse, Albert Calise, Ryan Dos Reis, Eugene Mednikov, Ayo Obisesan, Robert Sibiga and Rafal Wlazlo. Congratulations to all these top officials!