Major League Soccer
US Soccer

Inaugural NWSL season set for kick-off

April 12, 2013

The new National Women's Soccer League season is set to get underway this weekend with the opening match being hosted by FC Kansas City, against the Portland Thorns, and affiliated officials from the Professional Referee Organization will oversee the historic match.

FIFA referee Kari Seitz, who has officiated in all three professional women's leagues in the US, has been assigned as the match referee, and she will be assisted by Kathryn Nesbitt and Kyle Atkins, with Jon Freemon as 4th Official. 

Seitz has taken part in four Women's World Cups, making her one of the most experienced officials in the world, while Nesbitt and Atkins are two Assistant Referees progressing well under the guidance of PRO. Jon Freemon, meanwhile, has international officiating knowledge and was named Youth Referee of the Year in 2007.

PRO Women's Referee Coach and the NWSL assignor, Sandra Serafini, said: “This crew is a great representation of professional and international experience leading and preparing the next generation of officials who will serve PRO in the professional leagues within the U.S.  

“The standard of women’s soccer keeps improving, and there are high expectations on the officials to excel on the field by committing to physical, technical, and mental aspects of training.  

“Thanks to PRO General Manager Peter Walton and U.S. Soccer, for both past and ongoing support, the NWSL will provide an excellent platform and opportunity to work at the professional level alongside the professional men’s leagues.  

“With our officials working both men’s and women’s matches within U.S. Soccer and PRO, officials will receive the training and guidance needed to be well-rounded and ready for any challenge."

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