Brian Dunn

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 2:34 pm | Updated: 2:03 pm, Thu Mar 1, 2012. by TIMOTHY MEYER

Dunn, who has played soccer most of his life, said it’s the game that makes refereeing so enjoyable.

“It’s exciting, it’s fast and you have to use game management and quick thinking skills,” Dunn said. “You have to have people skills, fitness, and knowledge of the game. You get to meet such various people. I’ve also refereed an Italian game where some of their members were on the world cup team. In the local area I’ve done ever final you could possibly think of.”

Included are the NY Metro Women’s league, local Greek and Italian leagues, Long Island Rough Riders as well as collegiate groups like the New York Red Bulls.

He was also the fourth official at the USA-Columbia game at Philadelphia, and has refereed at several international games including Italy versus Mexico at Club America. Honduras versus Columbia at the Redbull Arena and Greece versus Ecuador at Citifield Stadium.

The refereeing, however, is not the most difficult part of the job for Dunn, who also works as a remedial math teacher at the Baldwin School District and a state assessor and state instructor for U.S. Soccer.

“Managing family life with the soccer career is the most difficult part of the job,” Dunn said. “My family is everything to me.” 

Dunn said he tries to pick and choose what games to referee based on how much time away he’ll spend away from his family compared to how much money he’ll get for refereeing a game.

“If it’s a game worth $100 and I’m gone for three days, then its not a good idea,” Dunn said. “I can ref a game for 10-year old kids that might take away a few hours on Saturday, but then I’m going to be gone for a few days starting on Monday. You have to find the balance.  When I went to Florida for the pre season my kids could contact me on my Ipad and Iphone, and it makes things a little easier, but it’s still hard - my kids are everything to me.”

Dunn hopes to eventually land a full-time position refereeing soccer games for Major League Soccer.

Dunn started refereeing in 2002 when his friend and owner of the Long Island Rough Riders Peter Zaratin asked him to help out refereeing on the weekends.

“One of the guys I was working with was from the Long Island Junior League and told me I should take the course to referee in the league,” Dunn said. “That way I could work indoors during the winter. I always thought I would give back to the community and soccer was always good to me.” 

Dunn first started playing soccer in fourth grade while growing up in Glen Cove. He said soccer was something he was always good at because he was always athletic. During high school, traveled with his local soccer team to Europe at age 16. He continued to play when he later attended Hofstra University and Dowling College.

“Now I play with local teams, such as the L.I. soccer football league, which I’ve been a part of since I was 15,” Dunn said. “When I came back (from Europe) I played with a Polish team until I was 18, then went to Forest Park and played until I was 30.”

Dunn was awarded referee of the year in 2011 for the Eastern New York Adult and Youth Soccer Association where he was chosen by the associations’ board presidents and league members.

He was also awarded The New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association by his fellow referees within the organization also in 2011.

"I took the referee course in December 2001 and refereed my first game the spring of 2002. I spent 2 years at grade 8, 1 year at grade 7, 1 year at grade 6, and 2 years at grade 5. I became a national referee in 2008 and became a national AR in 2011." A Professional Assistant referee in 2012 for Pro and MLS

LOCAL Leagues officiated


I took the course in 2001 when a friend’s son could not take the course so I filled in for him during the course. I began refereeing for LIJSL and LISRA in 2002. By the end of the year I had met and became friends with several referees that helped shaped my career. Those referees were Steve Karaducovic, Jorge Gonzalez, Richard Sanchez, Lee Suckle, Brendan Mullarkey, and Bill Renderos. With the assistance of these referees I was introduced to the NYRA and began refereeing amateur men where I started refereeing over 30, division 2 and div 3 men’s games.

My first professional game(as referee) was a USL 1 game Rochester Rhinos vs Carolina Railhawks in front of 12,000 fans in June of 2008.

My first MLS game was Dallas vs Philadelphia in 2012, in which I had 9 MLS lines and 6 international friendlies which include Greece vs Ecuador, Juventus vs Club America, Chelsea vs PSG, the French Championship of  LYON vs Montpellier at red bull Arena, Venezuela vs El Salvador, Tottenham Spurs vs Red Bull NY.