The Cal South Referee Spotlight is a calsouth.com feature, highlighting elite officials through the Cal South system
Growing up in a soccer family in Pennsylvania, Brandon Stevis knew he wanted to be involved in soccer. So at the young age of seven, he began playing soccer, and following his older sister’s footsteps, continued playing the game all the way to four years in Division 1 College Soccer at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
After graduating college in 2015 and heading into the workforce, Stevis hung up his boots as a player. As his professional career progressed, he found himself missing the game, and wanted to continue being involved in soccer. After considering the options of coaching or officiating, in 2016, Stevis decided to become a Referee, earning his Grade 8 credential in Philadelphia.
Shortly after in 2017, Stevis’s profession would see him move to Southern California, and with him, his desire to continue being involved with soccer. Starting fresh and with six months of officiating under his arm, Stevis began to explore his options, speaking with local Referee Associations like Valley Referee Association and the South Bay Soccer Referee Association (SBSRA) in an effort to try and get exposure and experience. As time went by, Stevis would get just that.
Participating in Cal South’s State Cup and National Cup would eventually lead Stevis to participate in more tournaments, earning opportunities not just locally, but regionally, and eventually, in national stages. As Stevis continued working up the Referee Pathway to Pro, the doors to more opportunities unceasingly opened, allowing him the opportunity to officiate in United Soccer League (USL) Championship games, as well as continue earning experience at youth and amateur levels.
With a career that launched in Pennsylvania, and blossomed in Southern California, Stevis’s hard work, strong work ethics and dedication, has allowed him to continue moving up the pathway, but he credits the opportunities he’s earned to his experience in Cal South.
“With repetition, consistency and being visible, Cal South was pivotal and crucial in the opportunities I have come by,” Stevis said. “Cal South is truly the mecca of soccer in the US, and everyone involved in the organization was so welcoming as well as willing to give me the next challenge.”
As part of another step, and challenge, in his Referee career, Stevis was among a group of Cal South Referees that earned their National Referee Badge as their first task of 2020, an objective that was years in the making.
“For many and I know for certain myself, achieving your National Badge is often a pinnacle moment or goal in one’s referee career,” Stevis said. “This was something I have manifested, trained, and planned for. It’s an honorable moment, and one to celebrate for sure because it came with a lot of work and sacrifice. However, you know that now, there is a higher expectation of you in soccer, and you have to be ready and able to handle that.”
Stevis’s career’s progression will not halt with the National Badge, as he continues to strive for more in a place he loves, on the pitch being a part of the beautiful game.
“Aside from the push and aspirations of potentially becoming a FIFA referee, or refereeing in a World Cup, the passion for the game is really what draws me to officiating. My ultimate objective in reality is to give the players in whatever match I am involved with the absolute best environment to play in that I can as an official. Also, and something to never forget – a career you really enjoy doing.”
To learn more about the Cal South Referee Program, click here.
Brandon Stevis as a Junior at Saint Joseph’s University