- About PRO
Mar 24, 2015
Image (left to right): PRO officials Mathieu Bourdeau, Corey Parker and Armando Villarreal.
By Mathieu Bourdeau
Last weekend (03/20-03/22), I had the pleasure of attending the 2015 International Referee Symposium presented by Comex/Futline, held in Fort Lauderdale. CONCACAF referees and assistant referees that were added to the FIFA panel in 2015 were invited to this meeting.
I was added this year to the list of international referees to represent Canada. My nomination came as a great honor, since getting the FIFA badge had been a long-term dream of mine. Soon after my nomination, I was assigned to referee at the CONCACAF U17 Championship held in Honduras from February 24 to March 16. The Referee Symposium was hosted in Florida the weekend following the end of this tournament.
During the Symposium, many inspiring presentations on technical, physical and psychological aspects of refereeing at the international level were given by various top level speakers such as Sonia Denoncourt, Armando Archundia, Arturo Brizio, Peter Prendergast, Edgardo Codesal, Rodolfo Sibrian, Alan Morgan Brown and PRO Match Official Development Manager Brian Hall.
From a practical point of view, participants ran the FIFA interval fitness test over the weekend and, one of the great aspects of this meeting, was getting to work with staff members and referees from different parts of the CONCACAF region.
I was pleased to be present at the Referee Symposium for the third straight year - the previous editions were held in Mexico (2013) and Costa Rica (2014). These events, along with the training offered by PRO and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), clearly contribute to my development as a referee. This year, I had the chance to go to the Symposium with fellow PRO officials Drew Fischer (FIFA Referee, Canada), Armando Villarreal (FIFA Referee, USA) and Corey Parker (FIFA Assistant Referee, USA). We were all honored to participate in this event.
I have been on the CSA National Referee List since 2007. I started working as a 4th official in MLS in 2012 and, since its inception, PRO has always supported me in different ways. For instance, I have been following fitness programs created by PRO Sports Scientist Matt Hawkey and attended multiple PRO training camps.
Also, on top of the assignments from CSA, I received many development opportunities from PRO to referee NASL, USL, MLS preseason and international friendly matches in the United States. Furthermore, I can already see the positive impact of the addition of Brian Hall at PRO, who now closely supervises the progression of individuals on the 4th official list.
At this point in 2015, I am grateful that my 23rd season as a referee started with multiple great opportunities. I will continue to work hard and follow the guidance of PRO, CSA, CONCACAF and FIFA to hopefully get additional opportunities at the international and MLS levels in order to continue my development and try to become the best referee I can be.