- About PRO
August 5, 2014
PRO assistant referee Corey Parker has labeled the 2014 MLS All-Star game as his highest honor after being named in the crew for the midseason showcase at Providence Park on Wednesday, August 6.
Parker was selected alongside Claudio Badea to run the line in Portland when the MLS All-Stars go up against German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, with Jair Marrufo referee and Ismail Elfath 4th official.
It's a crew that shares a mutual understanding and Parker – the most used AR in 2014 so far with 13 MLS games under his belt - is excited about the latest assignment added to his schedule, although he won't be treating the game any differently.
“I've been pretty lucky in my career to be able to work a number of great games with some talented referees, but to get the opportunity to work this game, with such an excellent crew, is a once-in-a-career assignment and is my highest honor to date,” he told proreferees.com.
“I prepare for every match exactly the same way. I'll do my normal routine on the day of the game; getting ready, preparing physically and mentally, thinking about players from both teams, potential tactics, and meeting with the crew.
“As a group we've all gone through a lot of the similar experiences. To be able to read your colleagues’ body language or to know what they're thinking at a certain time can really help on the field. No two situations are the same, so having that level of understanding of your fellow officials can be extremely important.”
At 28, Parker is one of the youngest members of the PRO roster but he doesn't lack experience having officiated 65 games, including five MLS Playoff games, prior to 2014, with his MLS debut coming on March 26, 2011 at Chivas USA versus Colorado Rapids.
Parker, who is originally from Edinboro, Pennsylvania, but currently resides in Washington, DC, credits the people around him for his rise in officiating since he started refereeing at age 13, but he's also grateful for the chance to work alongside PRO's experienced officials.
“I have been very lucky to have had such a wonderful support group around me throughout my career. I could not have made it to this point without the support of my family, friends, and fellow referees.
“I'm very proud of how far I've come in officiating and appreciate even being considered to work the MLS All-Star game. Continuing to learn, grow, and improve every time I step on the field drives me to perform in the future.
“At PRO I get to spend time with a handful of experienced officials, even some who have been around since Major League Soccer's inception, such as Greg Barkey.
“Working with guys like Greg and having a chance to pick their brains is a special experience. Greg is always willing to offer support and share his experiences. It's great to be able to work with him and the other guys in a similar position."