By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 29, 2017-Referees add stoppage time and blow their whistles to end the game as official time is kept on their watches, and not on the scoreboard, in nearly all soccer games played around the world. As refs have the last word on the soccer field, we’re going to give them the last word as we close out 2017.
Pro Referee is a great organization under the direction of two top refs from Latin America, President Guillermo Andrade and Vice President Jose Arana. Although its name is similar to PRO, the Professional Referee Organization that supplies the refs for pro leagues in the United States and Canada, Andrade’s organization pre-dates the other group and is committed to developing soccer referees in the New York City borough of Queens.
At Pro Referee’s 2017 Awards Gala Dinner at the Astoria Sports Complex on December 26, 11 referees were honored:
2017 Referee of the Year: Jonatan Coreas, pictured on right in photo next to MLS ref Jorge Gonzalez
Most Improved Referee: Jose Martin Arana
2017 Assistant Referee of the Year: Guillermo Jair Andrade
Most Improved Assistant Referee: Alonso Guardia
2017 Indoor Referee of the Year: Ignacio Guzman
Most Improved Indoor Referee: Joel Mendoza
Rising Star Awards: George Carrasco, Claussen Carrion, Avi Moshe, Cristian Ramirez, Alan Torres
Also receiving awards were Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) President Richard Christiano, State Youth Referee Administrator Lee Suckle and State Director of Assessment Consalvo Turchi for their enthusiastic support of the organization.
Pro Referee even has a sponsor, Robert Margulies of law firm Margulies & Associates, who explained, “Although my Spanish is pretty bad and Guillermo struggles in English, we speak the same language of hard work and dedication. My parents also came from another country and not from the United States, and English was not my first language.”
“When I started, we did not have any sponsors like Mr. Margulies. Now we have a professional organization run by Guillermo and Jose, two refs with a lot of experience,” Big Apple Youth Soccer League (BAYSL) President Luis Montoya stated. “I remember when Jorge Gonzalez, here with us tonight, started out with us and he has now been refereeing in MLS for many years. I hope SYRA Lee Suckle can find more kids in the Latino community. I would like to see the kids receiving awards tonight reffing in a big stadium one day with 60,000 people.”
Perhaps the best speech of the night was delivered by Rising Star Award recipient Avi Moshe, who said, “Thanks to Professors Andrade and Arana for teaching me as well as Luis Montoya for letting me use his fields. I will never forget the first time I used his fields.”
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 http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.