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News - Details

Eastern New York Has Some of the Best Refs in the Entire United States

By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association

July 11, 2018-The referees developed by the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association are frequently seen on TV officiating professional or top amateur and youth games. Currently, four of our officials are members of PRO (Professional Referee Organization) and working Major League Soccer (MLS) games: referees Jorge Gonzalez, J.C. Rivero and Robert Sibiga plus assistant referee Brian Dunn. 

Eastern New York sent 14 refs and three assessors to the Eastern Regionals in Spotsylvania, Virginia from June 28 to July 3. Seven refs attended Regionals for the first time while the seven others had been to Regionals before.


The Eastern New York officiating delegation at Regionals

“There were over 100 referees in attendance from across the Region at this prestigious event,” commented State Youth Referee Administrator (SYRA) Lee Suckle. “Our delegation proved once again that Eastern New York delivers top-notch, quality officials as every one of our referees were assigned a semifinal or final. Five of our referees were selected to the National Championships in Frisco, Texas from July 23 to 29, along with an invited returnee from last year, Michael Ziegler.“

Congrats especially to the Eastern New York refs at Regionals who have advanced to Nationals:

Christian Centeno, Eastern New York Elite Referee Program, BU16 Semifinal Ref, BU17 Final Fourth Official

• Ronny Castillo Ochoa, Eastern New York Elite Referee Program, BU16 Final Ref

• Ben Schnell, BU12 Semifinal Ref, BU13 Final Fourth Official

• Kevin Skaalerud, Eastern New York Elite Referee Program, BU13 Final Ref

• Hao Zhong, BU12 Final Ref

Besides serving as SYRA, Suckle also is the Director of the Eastern New York Elite Referee Program, whose mission is to promote, assist, mentor and instruct the young, promising officials to have the opportunity to reach the highest levels of the game, such as the pros and maybe even the World Cup. For more info, you can contact Suckle at 

With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.