Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup 2019

Soccer pic

Sgt. Giancarlo Pavone (right) was at the Dallas Cup invitational tournament.
Photo: Submitted

Sgt Giancarlo Pavone, 410 Squadron

I was selected to attend the Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup in early January. The Dallas Cup is an invitational soccer tournament to the most elite youth teams around the world and is the world’s largest youth tournament in the world. This year’s tournament hosted teams from over 30 countries and over 330 officials from around the world. It was broken down into age groups from U13-U19 and also featured a U19 super group with club teams from England, Mexico, Spain, U.S. and Canada.

I was assigned to the U18 and U19 age groups with appointments to a semi-final match and the U18 Gold Medal game with officials from England and the USA. Most of my appointments were with elite level officials from around the world. I was assigned to 10 matches throughout the week working various roles. When being assigned matches, the Dallas Cup also assigns referee mentors and assessors to provide feedback on match performances. Post-match debriefs were also conducted by these professional assessors that provided us with valuable feedback on how our matches went. The Canadian contingent also conducted nightly discussions on how the daily events went. The assessors then provided evaluations to the tournament in order to assign future matches to officials based on merit.

CONCACAF hosted an elite referee symposium. Some of FIFA’s top level instructors were present delivering presentations on the ever evolving game. The seminar included law changes, match management skills, match preparation, sports psychology, and match fitness. This seminar was a very informative workshop which are usually only delivered to professional officials at international tournaments.

The Dallas Cup provides officials with elite level competition to selected officials. There is no other non-professional competition that provides this opportunity to officiate and develop skills and experience. It also provides officials to work together with other officials from around the world. Canada Soccer Association has been using this tournament as a stepping stone to enter the National Referee Program. This year’s tournament was a great work up for me prior to entering the 2019 Canadian Premier League season.