Veteran Canadian soccer official Joe Fletcher, a veteran of two World Cups and numerous other tournaments, is taking a new role as the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) manager of senior assistant referees.
The 43-year-old native of Niagara Falls, Ont., will walk under former referee Mark Geiger, PRO director of senior match officials. Fletcher will co-ordinate and supervise Major League Soccer’s assistant referee coaching program and manage the day-to-day needs of the assistant referee group.
Fletcher will also help identify and develop the next generation of MLS assistant referees.
The Canadian spent the past year as a PRO performance consultant, in addition to working as an instructor for Canada Soccer.
“I have lived what many of our referees are trying to accomplish and have always taken great pride in the effort that I put into matches,” Fletcher said in a statement. “Now it’s my job to take an already elite group of assistant referees and push them all to be even better.”
Fletcher worked with Geiger at both the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. The Canadian has also officiated at the FIFA Confederations Cup (2017), FIFA Club World Cup (2013), FIFA U-20 World Cup (2007, 2011), CONCACAF Gold Cup (2011, 2013), CONCACAF Champions League final (2008 and 2017) and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Fletcher also worked two MLS Cups (2014, 2016) and more than 100 career regular-season matches, In 2018, he was named MLS Assistant Referee of the Year.
“We are delighted to add the quality and expertise that Joe Fletcher brings to our team as we prepare for another exciting year,” PRO GM Howard Webb said. “Joe was not only one of Major League Soccer’s most talented assistant referees, but he was also extremely successful on the international stage.
“His experience at the very highest level, combined with his energy and passion for the game, will greatly benefit our current group of MLS and international assistant referees, and those aspiring to walk in Joe’s footsteps. We are privileged to have him on board.”