Four Female Referees from our Referee Program Selected to Officiate
Each summer, the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series crowns the boys and girls national champion in seven age groups (Under-13 through Under-19). The finals are a culmination of a year-long series of competitions at the state and regional levels which provides approximately 185,000 players on over 10,000 teams from 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation.
Based on their performance at the state and regional level, 88 referees were selected to officiate the games at the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by the National Guard, which was held July 23-28, 2013, in Overland Park, Kansas.
Referees participating in the 55 US Youth Soccer State Association State Cup events are considered for advancement to participate in one of the four US Youth Soccer Regional Championship events. The top referees from each regional event are then considered for advancement to the National Championships. Once selected to the National Championships, the top 20 referees are identified and invited to return to the event the following year.
The selection process for referees for the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is based on performance throughout the series. Just as the teams advance from the state to regional to national level, so do the referees. This year, for the first time, Metro DC-Virginia State Referee Program earned 4 slots to referee at Nationals. The referees were Danielle Chesky, Milena Nikolic, Stewart Milton and Kiah Haslett.
Milena Nikolic is originally from Serbia. She played soccer throughout her childhood but eventually had to stop at age 19 due to injuries. After a short break, she decided to become a referee because of her love of the game and a desire to be part of it again. In 2008, she moved to the United States and continued working as a referee. At first, Milena found it to be a challenge to officiate in the US because of differences in how the game is played here. As a new referee, she officiated games for the younger players but very soon was assigned to older youth games and adults. In 2012, she upgraded to Grade 6 State Referee and was given opportunities to referee in WAGS, NCSL, NVSL, VCCL, high school, W-league, PDL, Super-Y, and ECNL. This year, Milena was invited to State Cup Finals, Youth Regional Finals and has been invited to Youth Nationals in Kansas. In addition, this year will be her first year officiating college games. She was invited to the Annandale Premier Cup Academy, Jefferson Cup Academy and will be in Neptune Classic Academy in August, as well as many other tournaments in Virginia.
Kiah Haslett is a Nebraska transplant currently living in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has been refereeing for almost 13 years and was selected as Nebraska Youth Female Referee of the Year in 2007. She moved to Virginia to work as a banking reporter for SNL Financial, a data and news provider. At the youth level, she has refereed at Youth Regionals, Surf Cup, Germantown Invitational, Dallas Cup, the Blue Chip College Showcase, the Jefferson Cup and Development Academy matches. She has also officiated men’s and women’s amateur matches, WPSL, NPSL and W-League games. Over the next year, she plans to upgrade to State 6 and continue seeking training and more challenging games, including NISOA collegiate matches for the first time. Kiah also continues her New Year’s resolution of running races in an attempt to convince herself that running is fun.
Stewart Milton works at the Veterinary-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine as a Senior Laboratory Specialist in Large Animal Nutrition and Immunology. This is her second full year back as a referee after a break and she is planning to complete her upgrade to State 6 before the end of the year. (Only one more assessment to go.) Due to injury, she is not able to play anymore and refereeing has provided her a way to stay involved in the sport and has been a wonderful way of meeting people. This was her first year to be involved in State Cup and Region I Finals and it will also be her first trip to nationals. She had her first WPSL game this summer.
Danielle Chesky is a Grade 5 referee living in the Northern Virginia area. She works on policy issues that affect the Great Lakes region, which is where she grew up. She is returning to US Youth Nationals for the second year, having officiated the final for the U-15 boys in 2012. She has also participated in Regionals, Development Academy regular season and playoffs, as well as the Jefferson Cup and State Cup at the youth level. She officiates at the amateur level, including PDL, W-league, National Premier Soccer League, and the Maryland International Soccer League. She has also officiated at the Pro Level, in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the USL-Pro.
For more information about these referees, contact the Metro DC-Virginia State Referee Program Office.