BC Soccer Referees featuring in one of world's most prestigious youth soccer tournaments

Vancouver-BC: Four of BC Soccer’s most talented match officials are this week taking part in the Dallas Cup, an annual youth soccer tournament featuring some of the top youth teams in the world.

Ivan Jecanski, 19 (Surrey), Natasha Smith, 22 (Langley), Evan Fryer 20 (Victoria) and Juan Marquez, 31 (Vancouver), were selected by the BC Soccer Referees Committee on the basis that that they have the potential to attain National Level status in the near future, and as such this project is helping to fine tune the skills of these elite individuals.

Clubs participating in this year’s tournament include youth teams from English Premier League clubs Manchester United and Fulham, Fluminense FC of Brazil, Eintracht Frankfurt from Germany, Club America and Tigres from Mexico, Canada’s own Toronto FC, and LA Galaxy.

“There’s experience like this that you will never get anywhere else in the world, the Dallas cup is a place for referees to develop not only there on field play but also to gain a better knowledge on how to become a better referee and us it on the field,” stated Ivan. “I am honored to be part of such a wonderful team and to be given the chance to come to a great tournament like the Dallas Cup is an experience I will never forget”, he added.

It is one of the referee development objectives in BC Soccer’s strategic plan to increase the number of higher classification, (Regional and Provincial) referees in BC and such activities help to facilitate and achieve these goals.

For Natasha this is her first experience of a high profile international tournament of this nature, and she said, “Dallas Cup has been an inspirational learning environment in which lessons on and off the field can be learnt for all young aspiring match officials”. This year we were fortunate to be able to participate and interact with highly experienced FIFA and CONCACAF officials. I am greatly appreciative of the opportunity that BC Soccer is providing me as the learning experiences are invaluable,” she added.

Previous officials that BC Soccer has taken to the Dallas Cup include National Level referee Alain Ruch and Marco Arruda, a National Assistant Referee who has progressed to being an Assistant in Major League Soccer.

“All four of these referees are excellent candidates to progress to higher classifications of refereeing and such an opportunity to further educate and test themselves at this tournament will provide them with some of the tools to do that”, said Jose Branco, BC Soccer Referee Coordinator.

BC Soccer is also honoured that John Nielson, BC Soccer and CSA referee committee member, will attend at the request of CONCACAF, to deliver Referee Assessor training for 12 FIFA Referees and 5 Assistant Referees at the event. There are also five other Canadian referees attending the tournament, demonstrating the talent of the match officials across the country and how this tournament is seen as such an ideal environment for them.

“The experience that these officials will have is one that will live with them forever,” said Rick Connors, Chair BC Soccer Referees Committee. “BC Soccer is committed to developing its talented and young officials in high quality environments and these four individuals will be able to do that during this tournament”, he added.

For more information on the BC Soccer Referee Development Program, please click here.

About BC Soccer

BC Soccer is the provincial sport governing body responsible for the promotion and development of the game in British Columbia. The professional not-for-profit society is committed to developing the game by inspiring British Columbians to lifelong active, inclusive and team play. Its vision is to pursue Canada's foremost integrated soccer development system built upon club, school, varsity and professional team excellence.

BC Soccer is comprised of 150 member Clubs, Districts and Leagues, spanning more than 120,000 registered players, over 2,500 referees, and thousands of coaches and other volunteer administrators and soccer leaders. Working with these member Clubs, Districts and Leagues, BC Soccer will operate under the guiding principles of Professional Leadership, Passionate Service and Progressive Collaboration. In managing its relationships throughout the larger soccer community, BC Soccer will promote the integral soccer values of authenticity, unity and integrity.

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