On March 6, 2012, the U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer announced that they formed the Professional Referee Organization (PRO). The statement on the Federation’s website stated that:
“[PRO] will be responsible for managing the referee program in professional soccer leagues in the United States and Canada.
The creation of PRO is designed to increase the quality of officiating in U.S. and Canadian professional leagues, develop more professional quality officials at a younger age and develop officials who will represent the United States and Canada in FIFA competitions.
Veteran English referee Peter Walton has been named General Manager of PRO. All current U.S. Soccer professional referee staff positions will transition to PRO and report to Walton, who begins full-time on April 2 and will be based in New York City through the conclusion of the MLS season.”
The statement further explained that “beginning this year, PRO will manage officials in the MLS and MLS Reserve games, the North American Soccer League, USL PRO and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.” Additional details and Federation’s full statement regarding PRO can be found here