CHICAGO (AP) -- The U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer announced today that they have formed an organization to manage referees in North American professional leagues.
The Professional Referee Organization is designed to increase the quality of officiating in U.S. and Canadian leagues, develop more officials at a younger age and develop refs who can the United States and Canada in FIFA competitions.
U.S. Soccer and MLS will govern and fund the organization, with help from the Canadian Soccer Association and other professional leagues. Beginning this year, PRO will manage officials in the MLS and MLS Reserve games, the North American Soccer League, USL PRO and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Former English referee Peter Walton has been hired to run the organization.