Huge news coming out of MLS HQ today, just days before the kick off of the 2012 season.
As we all know, in the past, MLS has not had the best reputation with regards to refereeing. In fact, some would call it downright abysmal. I'm one of those people. More so than anything else in the sport, I hate losing due to a shitty referee call. Cough Kalif's "third hand" ball...
Anyway, starting for this year MLS, US Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association all referees who manage US, Canadian or MLS (as well as the second division) games will be managed under a single entity called the Professional Referee Organization (PRO).
Heading up the PRO is current English Premier League referee Peter Walton, a veteran of nearly 200 EPL matches since 2003. The 52-year-old will assume the new fulltime post of GM of the organization. His appointment starts on April 2 and he’ll be based in New York City throughout the MLS season.
And even better:
The new group will incorporate several of the new initiatives introduced last year – a referee command center in New York, the use of video analysis, real-time evaluations and in-stadium professional match evaluators.
No telling what this will do for the future of the sport in this country, but all I can say is I'm very happy to see some sort of change... because we desperately needed it.