News. Match officials from UK and US team up for Premier League Summer Series

08 Jul 23

PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) match officials will work alongside their counterparts in the USA to take charge of the Premier League's first pre-season tournament in the country later this month

Six Premier League clubs will play nine matches in five East Coast cities, kicking off on Saturday, 22nd July when Brighton & Hove Albion face Chelsea at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia. Aston Villa, Brentford, Fulham and Newcastle United are also participating in the tournament, with games also taking place at stadiums in Atlanta (Georgia), Harrison (New Jersey), Orlando (Florida) and Landover (Maryland).

The Magpies will face Villa, Chelsea and Brighton in Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Jersey respectively as they get set for the start of the 2023/24 campaign.

Referees Simon Hooper and Rob Jones, as well as assistant referees Nick Greenhalgh, Ian Hussin, James Mainwaring and Wade Smith, will represent PGMOL in the USA. They will be supported by Professional Referees Organisation (PRO) officials, including Sergi Demianchuk, Guido Gonzales Jr and Lukasz Szpala, who operate in Major League Soccer and other professional leagues in North America.

PGMOL Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb, who previously held the roles of General Manager and Manager of Video Assistant Referee Operations at PRO, said: "Having lived and worked in the US for a number of years, I know just how much interest there is in Premier League football.

"The Summer Series gives US fans an opportunity to see Premier Leagues stars at close quarters, while also affording our match officials the chance to work alongside their US colleagues as part of a successful collaboration with US Soccer. I am sure the experience will prove enjoyable and beneficial for all."

Rick Eddy, Director of Referee Development at US Soccer, said: "The Premier League Summer Series provides an opportunity for United States' professional officials to officiate teams from the most watched football league in the world. The games will also see a worthwhile collaboration between PRO officials and their PGMOL counterparts for a tournament US Soccer and PRO are happy to be supporting."

The Premier League Summer Series is part of the league's ongoing commitment to its US-based fans. In addition to the tournament, the league will work closely with a range of grassroots and community organisations in each host city to create a programme of community and youth soccer initiatives.

PGMOL officials and staff will participate in a number of those initiatives as well as deliver three referee development and coaching workshop sessions and host an officiating seminar with their US counterparts.

Tickets details for Newcastle United's games in the Premier League Summer Series can be found here.

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