How to Become an MLS Official

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Major League Soccer (MLS) is a soccer league for 13 top soccer teams in the United States and Canada. The group was founded in 1996 and has experienced major growth; by 2010, they hope to be made up of 16 teams. Follow these steps if you love soccer and would like to become an official in the MLS.

  • Become a referee in the MLS. To become an MLS referee, you must be a National Referee in the United States Soccer Federation. You can only hold that position if you have officiated in over 500 games in a period of not less than 7 years.

  • Attend an annual testing session that is held in January each year by US Soccer. You will be asked to arrive at the camp on Thursday afternoon. On Friday morning, you will complete the Cooper Physical Fitness Test. This test consists of 50 and 200 yard sprints. You must complete this test in order to become a referee, a 4th official, or an assistant referee in MLS.

  • Pass the FIFA test that is administered at the camp. This test is given in 2 stages--one is designed for referees and one for assistant referees. These tests involve a series of sprints; the times that are required are a bit tougher for referees than for assistants.

  • Get ready to become a ref. If you have completed the fitness tests, you will attend classroom sessions where you will learn more about the game. These are taught by guest speakers and past MLS players and coaches.

Tips & Warnings

  • As of 2007, the MLS hires 4 full-time referees. If you are chosen for one of these positions, you can devote yourself to learning about the game.

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