- About PRO
Name: Matthew Foerster
Date of Birth: 03/01/1982
Portland Timbers vs. Montreal Impact - United Soccer League First Division - 06/04/2009
DC United vs. Colorado Rapids - Major League Soccer - 05/16/2012
Orlando City SC vs. Harrisburg City Islanders - 2011 USL Pro Championship match
4th Official DC United vs. Houston Dynamo - 2012 MLS Conference final second leg
How did you get into officiating?
I started when I was 12. I signed up for the class with a couple of my team-mates so we could learn the rules better and make some cash on weekends. I refereed for many years just for fun, and only after college did I really focus on trying to upgrade through the ranks.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while progressing through the ranks to become an official?
Trying to develop the skills necessary to referee at the next level is more difficult if you do not have a mentor.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
It is impossible to select the single biggest influence on my career. So many people helped me along the way – from making sure a kid-referee re-registered for the next season, which was Armel Blot, to inviting me to my first US Youth Soccer Regional tournament and giving me the hunger to start climbing the ladder as well as giving me all of the support I could ask for along the way, which was Steve Harvey
From impressing upon me the focus, determination, and commitment required to succeed at the highest levels in Brian Hall, to being willing to drive six hours one-way for a semi-professional game in the middle of nowhere, and then driving back home the same day - Nathanial Friedman, Klay Babin, Jared Peeler, Jonathan Johnson, Courtney Jackson, Darren Bauer - and all of my other refereeing brothers and sisters who made the journey worth it.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My first assignment as a referee in MLS was an incredibly gratifying moment.
What advice would you pass on to an aspiring official?
A significant part of our business is perception. Your attitude is revealed in everything you do – how you arrive at the field, how you toss the coin, how you blow the whistle, how you signal direction, and how you make decisions. Take pride in every game you referee, no matter what age or what level.