Massachusetts Certifies Nine Referees
at the National Level

With the recertification of four National referees from Massachusetts, the upgrade to National certification (grade 4) for four more, and the transfer of one from a neighboring state, the Commonwealth, with nine, now has highest number of referees in its history serving the national referee pool, according to the Massachusetts State Referee Committee (MSRC).

The nine Massachusetts referees are eligible to officiate as the center referee in professional matches, including MLS A league, Division 3 matches, and various national level tournaments, such as National Open Cup games, and the Armed Forces Tournament.

The MSRC announcement follows the successful qualification of the complete National referee and referee candidate contingent from Massachusetts, who attended the National Certification session in Houston, Texas, over the weekend of January 18-21, 2001. In order to officiate as a grade 4 or above, referees are required to pass a series of written and physical tests and assessments every year.

Rachel Woo of Auburndale successfully completed her recertification and has been named to the 2001 FIFA International Panel of Referees. Woo had first been named to the FIFA list last fall, days after refereeing the US v Mexico Women's match as part of the recently completed Glory Tour.

Gus St. Silva of Waltham, Tom Supple of Kingston and Peter Kokolski of Wrentham completed their recertification to maintain their current grades. All have MLS and national level experience.

Claudio Badea of Natick, Jeff Cukor of Shrewsbury, John Matthew of Springfield and Erich Simmons of North Reading successfully met the requirements for a national badge and have now been upgraded to grade 4. Simmons is a former National Young Referee of the Year. Luciano Governale has also been recertified as a National referee. Although residing in Unionville, CT, Governale referees in Massachusetts.

“I am a very proud to be associated with this group of officials. Everyone has truly risen to the legacy that was established a few years ago by people such as Angelo Bratsis, Dilvo DiPlacido, Helder Dias, Vinnie Mauro, David Socha and Ed Resendes.” said Al Consentino, MSRC State Referee Administrator. “It is great to see this path being traveled once again!”

Former Massachusetts referee Ken Kaplan, now living in Virginia, also achieved his certification as a National referee. Ken is part of a refereeing family that includes his mother Karen, and brother Jason, both of Newton, MA. “I wanted to take a moment to thank you and the rest of my friends in Massachusetts for helping me to achieve to the level of National Referee this past weekend.” wrote Kaplan in a letter to the MSRC, “ It was an honor to get my badge along side the Massachusetts referees.”


Congratulations to my friends and former associates of the north. Having recently transplanted to North Carolina I may see you again only on national TV. One thing was clear, my Mass Ref shirt sure stood out at the NC State recert clinic in December. Several refs, including Paul Tamberino, mentioned meeting and remembering Mass Refs at southern tourneys earlier in the year. Keep up the good work.

Steve Lengyel, formerly of Medfield, MA

What other sport offers the opportunity for refs at the entry level (like me) to work directly with those at the National level. In the past 2 years I have worked with Erich, Gus, Jeff and Rachel and gained tremendous knowledge from them. All were very willing to share their insights and provide advice.

If someone had told me during my entry level training course that you may work with a National ref someday I never would have believed them. But, it is still worth telling all at the class that you never know whose line you will work or who will be working your line.

Soccer is a beautiful sport and we do have a great organization.

Rob Akie, Dedham

I wanted to take a moment to thank you and all of my friends in Massachusetts for helping me to achieve to the level of National Referee this past weekend. My roots are firmly planted in Massachusetts, which I still regard as the standard-bearer for referees in the country--except of course a few of us from VA (it is a Commonwealth thing). From the time I was Grade 8 until now, and in the future, I value the knowledge that you have imparted along the way and that I hope you will provide in the years to come.

There are many in Massachusetts that deserve thanks, certainly too many to name here, with whom I have worked or have otherwise lent their support. Believe me, I thinking of all those guys when I stood on the podium Sunday.

It was an honor to get my badge along side the Massachusetts referees.

All the best,
Ken Kaplan, Washington, DC