Skip to Main Content

The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

Young Male Referee Winner talks about his journey and gives advice

September 21, 2016 04:27 PM

FRISCO, Texas (Sept. 21, 2016)—For 2016 North Texas Soccer Young Male Referee of the Year Hans Soland, his motivation for becoming an official was fairly straightforward.

“I was 14 at the time, and I wanted to make some money.” Soland said with a laugh. “So I took the class and went out to referee the Arlington Labor Day Tournament in 2013, and that’s how it all started. I’ve played soccer my whole life, and what would be a better way to make money than to watch and officiate the sport I love?”

What began as a seemingly obvious job selection blossomed into a successful career, which culminated in Soland winning the Young Male Referee of the Year at the North Texas Soccer Annual General Meeting in July.

“It was a great feeling to win the award,” Soland said. “Not everyone gets to be called the Young Referee of the Year. The ceremony was great, and it was a great achievement.”

Soland, who refereed for Arlington Soccer Association, mentioned the progression of the players he officiates as one of his favorite aspects about his job.

“When you referee at a certain association for a long time, you get to see how the teams and players develop,” Soland said. “I love getting to see these players get better and better each year.”

In addition to obtaining accolades as an official, Soland has his fair share of achievements as a player. Soland, who currently plays collegiately at Texas Wesleyan University, is a North Texas Soccer alum who competed with a couple different clubs, including the Dallas Texans, where he competed in the North Texas State Cup. Soland was also selected to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) 3A Soccer All-State Second Team as a junior and was named the District MVP as a senior at Temple Christian School. Soland explains how playing on the collegiate level helps him as an official and a player.

“As you get older and you advance from high school and club to college, the play is much more fast and you can see how different it is for officials,” Soland said. “There are referees who referee college games and for the MLS, and you can tell how confident they are out there. I personally can learn a lot about them and see what I need to improve on.”

Soland is very thankful to Arlington assignors Mickey O’Brien and Jennifer Huie and credits a lot of different referees that helped him along the way. Soland now pays it forward by offering his own advice to younger referees.

“Have fun. You have to have fun out there, or else you will not enjoy it. It can be long and tiring, but you have to enjoy yourself and keep paying attention,” Soland said. “I try to encourage younger referees to let the play develop so you can play advantage if possible instead of blowing the whistle immediately.”

When asked if he had a message as a referee to all of the coaches and parents out there, Soland’s response is a little more direct.

“Just let me do my job,” Soland said. “I wouldn’t be officiating this age group if I didn’t know what I was doing. So let me do my job of officiating the game, and you can do your job of coaching the players.”

The message is business-like and straightforward, which is after all how he became a referee in the first place.

For a story on the North Texas Soccer Young Male Referee of the Year, Hans Soland, can be found here