From Championship Cup to MLS —
Four Local Refs Go Under The
Spotlight This Month!
Players and teams came from across the state last month for the semi-finals and finals of the high-school boys age groups in the Virginia Mason US Youth Soccer Washington State Championships, drawn by the chance to compete for state titles against the most talented players in Washington.
It turns out those refs weren’t too shabby, either.
While most eyes at Starfire Sports the weekend of Feb. 9-10 were on the teams, it was four linesmen who may have been the biggest celebrities of anyone on the pitch. Jeff Hosking, Jeremy Hanson, Mike Rottersman and Babocarr Jallo, each of whom worked Championship Cup games in February, will trade their Washington State Referee Association jerseys for those of Major League Soccer this month when they run lines at MLS games across the country.
All four have long ties to Washington — Hosking was a former Washington Youth Soccer player himself and is one of the most respected referees in the nation, having worked MLS Conference Championship games, among other elite appointments. Hanson was raised in Vancouver and played his collegiate soccer at Portland’s Concordia University, while Rottersman is a graduate of Tacoma’s University of Puget Sound.
Jallo traveled the longest path to the MLS sidelines, having immigrated to the U.S. from Africa. Most notably, all four were trained and developed as referees through Washington State Referee programs.
“We’re proud to have some of the top refs in the country working in our state,” says Washington Youth Soccer Referee Program Director Will Niccolls. “Their success, too, illustrates that there’s not just one path to the MLS. You might be a rec player with a passion for soccer, or a premier player coming to the end of your youth career, and there’s a path for continued engagement with the game at its highest level.”
Learn more about widening your potential pathway to MLS by visiting WashingtonYouthSoccer.org and clicking the “Referees” link under the “Resources” tab at the top of the page.