- About PRO
Aug 15, 2013
With the 2013 Gold Cup now complete after the US national team's 1-0 victory over Panama in the Final, it's not just the players who will reflect on the tournament with fond memories.
The Professional Referee Organization's Dave Gantar was assigned to the tournament alongside nine other PRO officials and he was involved in several matches throughout the competition, being retained until the semi-final stage.
Although it was his second Gold Cup as an official, Gantar was still overjoyed when he received the news of his assignment.
He told proreferees.com: "About a month before the tournament we got our invitation and it came through email. I'm lucky, it was my second Gold Cup so I had hopes I would be selected for it, but I was still jumping up and down when I was.
"I'm learning in the referee world that you take nothing for granted, you're not guaranteed to get this or guaranteed to get that."
A regular in the MLS, Gantar is used to refereeing high profile matches frequently. But with the Gold Cup seeing 25 games played over just three weeks, officiating at tournament level provides a different challenge.
Taking place during one of the hottest summers the US has ever seen, it wasn't just the players who needed to keep their fitness levels high throughout the competition.
"The first five days we were training every day and then in the afternoon we had class sessions where we were looking at clips and discussing them.
"We were up for training at seven every morning and had two hours of on-field fitness, we would then go back to the hotel, have breakfast, then have a meeting, and every day is a game day. It's full of soccer."
Edmonton-based Gantar and his fellow Gold Cup assigned officials from other associations took part in a boot camp prior to the commencement of the tournament and this provided an opportunity for them to come together and share their knowledge.
That is also something that is done on a regular basis with PRO, an organization that Gantar believes has created a stronger bond between the domestic officials and provided him with new-found self-belief.
"We all have a role in the referee community and that's what PRO have created, it's a great support group. A very competitive one but people know what to aspire to and move ahead. You always pick up new elements.
"What PRO has done is allow me to walk in with supreme confidence, I knew what I needed to do and I knew where the hotspots were going to be. I can thank PRO for building that up in me.”