- About PRO
Oct 14, 2014
PRO official Adam Garner received his first FIFA honor during September when he appeared at the 2014 Copa Centroamericana.
The 37-year-old was assigned to the tournament, which featured countries including Costa Rica and Honduras, alongside fellow PRO official Jair Marrufo.
He believes going to the competition with a PRO colleague helped him in his introduction to the world stage.
He told proreferees.com: “The tournament was good. It was incredibly well run and well organized. The hospitality and general environment was fantastic.
“I was very pleased to get to work alongside Jair throughout the tournament, as I’ve known him for many years. Doing your first event with someone you know and someone who has the stature that he does in the game, it relieves the anxiety somewhat going into it.
“All of our assignments were done together. We had three matches - two where he was referee and one where he was fourth official. They basically brought in pairs from various countries around Central America, whether it be the US or Mexico, and for most matches the assistant referee would work their matches with the referee from their country.”
PRO General Manager Peter Walton added: "Having two members from the PRO ranks at the Copa Centroamericana tournament this year really goes to show how American and Canadian officials are perceived internationally.
“Jair Marrufo, who is a very experienced official, received the accolade of refereeing the third-place play-off game. Then Adam Garner, who was involved in his first ever FIFA tournament, performed in an exceptional manner and can only look forward to more tournaments of that stature in the future."
Garner made his MLS debut in 2003 and became a regular in 2008. He has run the line 12 times this season, most recently at the BBVA Compass Stadium last weekend, at Houston Dynamo versus DC United.
The Copa Centroamericana was another step up in his career and he felt working alongside fellow international referees opened his eyes to a higher standard of officiating.
“The other professionals expected an extremely high amount of excellence from themselves. Seeing how high the standards were amongst other referees was a positive influence.
“There’s certainly an element of wanting to live up to expectations, which ultimately means a little bit of natural pressure.
“People were watching here at home and all across the world because of the high profile of some of the teams. You are aware more so when you are sent to an international tournament and you are representing your country and the people who have helped you get to where you are.”
The FIFA assignment was a big achievement for Garner, who recognized the progress being made by PRO.
The resident of Texas is keen to limit talk of potential appearances at other major international tournaments in the future, but certainly doesn't lack ambition.
“Having two PRO referees involved I think is certainly an extension of the work Peter Walton and the team have done and it’s a show of confidence in the quality of refereeing in the States.
“The tournament was a big stepping stone for me, but I have to be realistic that it was my first FIFA competition. I’d like to think I’ve set myself up for future selection and for strong expectations when I’m invited to another event.
“From that experience, I’m hoping it opens the door to other events.”