Monday, May 23, 2011

NM Referee Orion Stradford heads to El Paso for PDL match

On Saturday, May 21st, I went to El Paso, TX to center my first PDL match. The game went really well without any issues or major problems. The game was between the Chivas El Paso Patriots vs. the Baton Rouge Capitals. It was an exciting contest from start to finish, with the Chivas able to secure a spot in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open cup with a victory. The fun started early, as I called a PK for Baton Rouge in the 18th minute. The PK was saved and on the restart from the goalkeeper, El Paso went down the other way and was able to score less than a minute later! The rest of the match went very smoothly, I only had to issue 2 cautions to Chivas and 1 to the Capitals, all late on in the game. The final was 1-0 for the Chivas.

Here's a photo of the crew:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

RTS 2011

Orion and I are in Dallas for the Regional Training Seminar, a two day training session for Professional Referees put on by US Soccer.  Yesterday we had training from US Soccer staff with a heavy focus on the MLS Points of Emphasis and video analysis.

This morning we had to complete the fitness test which includes 6x40 meter springs and the interval distance test (12 laps of 150 meter intervals with 50 meter recovery).  After the test we returned to the classroom for more instruction and video analysis.  We finished the day off with a review of the FIFA AR test (hint, if you don't know the answer always guess that it's not an offside infraction).  The rule of thumb for AR's now is if you are not completely sure, keep the flag down.

Both of us passed the fitness test (and the AR test, but that doesn't matter) so we'll be eligible for PDL games this summer.  Four other NM Referees arrived today for the Dallas Cup tournament (Santos Toquinto, Oscar Toquinto, Mark Merritt and Steve Schafer).

More updates to come...

Monday, March 21, 2011


Spring is definitely upon us (sneezing, wind and soccer).  If you have been working games this year you probably have noticed some new people around.  There were several new referee courses at the beginning of the year and many of those referees are out doing games now.  Do you remember what it was like being new?  Ever wonder why you stuck around?

More than likely if you have refereed for a number of years you have been mentored by at least one referee.  Think about giving back to our new referees by helping out with mentoring.  If you have the time, feel free to ask your assignor where you can help out.  Also, Bob Croft is always interested in having mentors for youth referees.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I always appreciate and encourage people to comment on the articles posted on here.  It's a great opportunity to start a discussion or add clarification.  All I ask is that you are respectful of your peers.

Some people misuse the comments section, thinking they are speaking on the condition of anonymity.  People forget that administrators have access to more information than the average user and "anonymity" is difficult to attain.  More importantly, snide comments on a blog might be a good way to blow off steam but they do nothing to solve any issues.

If you really have an issue that needs to be addressed please bring it to the attention of a member of the SRC instead of cravenly posting comments on this blog.  If you lack the intrepidity to bring up the matter in a constructive manner, I think it's best to just let it go.

Thank you.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

ODP Championships 2011

A group of nine New Mexico referees represented our State at the 2011 Region IV Olympic Development Program Championships held January 15-18 in Phoenix, Arizona. These good folks all missed two days of work to participate in this event, which indicates their commitment to our referee community and the service of youth soccer. Many thanks to each for contributing so much to the effort.

All of our referees performed well at these matches. The days were fairly long, with each referee covering three games per day, usually a center, a line and a 4th official, followed by meetings in the evening. CJ Merrit had even longer days because as a member of the Region IV Referee Academy he had homework to complete, in addition to the meetings.

One issue that surfaced concerned the fact that not enough time was allowed to complete matches and allow teams to enter and exit the fields in an orderly fashion. Consequently, there was much rushing about before matches, checking in teams off the field, doing coin tosses, followed by much congestion as teams tripped over each other coming and going, etc. 4th Officials had to work extra hard at these moments.

Again, thanks to the officials who traveled to this event.

~ Bob Croft, SYRA

Monday, January 24, 2011

SYRA Change

It's been official for a little bit now so I figured I should update this blog, too.  Bob Croft was kind enough to take over the SYRA position after I stepped down at the end of 2010.  I've been doing the SYRA gig for a little while now and although it was a lot of work at times I really enjoyed myself.  I think it's time to move on and I know Bob will continue to move the program in the right direction.

You'll of course continue to see me around and feel free to continue to reach out to me.  All I ask is that you give Bob the respect that you have shown me over the years.

There will be a few changes to the blog and the newsletter as we transition Bob into his new role.  Bob and I are working closely together to ensure the transition is a smooth one.

Keep an eye out for the first newsletter edition of 2011 with some pictures from the recent ODP tournament.