Congratulations to our good friend Alex Prus, who was inducted into the NISOA Hall of Fame Class of 2020 as a Referee.
Since 1964, we have been inducting two superlative individuals each year for their commitment and success both on and off the pitch into the NISOA Hall of Fame. This year we have recognized FIFA, MLS, 7-time NCAA Men’s Cup College Cup official, and longtime friend to the college game, Alex Prus.
If you had the opportunity to attend the Summer Educational Series Professional Development session on Managing the Modern Game lead by Alex, you would have caught the teary-eyed moment he was informed of his induction into the NISOA Hall of Fame. (Watch here.)
“Thank you so much! I’m so speechless and I didn’t expect it at all,” Prus exclaimed.
Alex represented the US as a FIFA referee for five years from 2004 to 2009, and shortly after found himself MLS Referee of the Year. The man in the middle of the 2007 MLS Cup Final has officiated over 200 MLS matches, four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Finals, and 7 NCAA Men’s College Cup Championships. In 2008, he was in charge of the NCAA Men’s College Cup Final.
“I’m really honored to join the elite group of officials from the college game. Thank you so much,” says Prus.
Alex played professionally in Poland before focusing on his Master’s Degree in Physical Education and transitioning into a referee. After playing he became a coach, but, because he did not speak English, the language barrier led him to transition into a referee. He moved to the U.S. with his wife and two-year old son where where he progressed from a State Referee into a National Referee in 1996.
“I wore the green uniform for the first time in the MLS Cup, I used the first vanishing spray in its opening game in the MLS, and now I’m the first inductee for NISOA over Zoom; it’s not going to get better than that,” Prus said.
As the Director of PRO2 Match Officials, Alex’s goal is to find the next MLS referee or assistant referee. A big focus for the 2020 MLS season is dealing with the technical area, providing PRO2 members exposure to MLS matches and training alongside PRO members. The weekly webinars provide clips with every important aspect from the week’s matchups through video analysis. The webinars also provide information like key players, tactics, and video analysis for the following week. You can watch the final production of Alex’s work here.
This award was planned to be presented in person at the NISOA Summit, however due to the pandemic that event was cancelled in person, but we we’re thrilled to offer Alex another first to mark his belt with the first ever Zoom induction into the Hall of Fame.