by Pete Richmire

We often mark MASL players’ careers in milestones they achieve on the field. This Friday however, an incredible milestone will be reached by the man officiating the contest between the Kansas City Comets and St. Louis Ambush. Brian Miller will be taking part in his 100th MASL game as an official in a career that began in Rochester during the 2013 season. His time with the game, however, began well before that as he volunteered as a penalty box attendant and goal judge in Cleveland beginning in 2002.

His enforcement of the rules of the Beautiful Game are not limited to a field surrounded by dasher boards and teams substituting on the fly. Miller has worked professional outdoor games for many years and was a national referee for US Soccer. He can currently be found patrolling the pitch in NCAA Division I Conferences including the Big 10, Big 12, Big South, and MAC.    

He notes that calls in the arena game can be more significant to the outcome of games. “Every decision is important. Nearly every foul called is either taking away a promising attack for one team or starting a promising attack for the other team” he said.

Much like players on team rosters, officials also form the same type of bonds and establish team chemistry. Miller said “I’ve made some very good friends in the MASL. Ryan Cigich (Head of MASL Officials) has assembled an extremely talented MASL referee staff that’s filled with great officials and even better people.”

Cigich was equally complimentary of Miller. He said “Brian has become one of the most accurate referees in the league, he gives 100% effort on every game and is a great communicator with the players and coaches.”

Though he has been a part of some classic MASL games, some of his most memorable times with the league have simply been from travelling to and from contests. “Snowstorms, cancelled flights, literally taking a plane, train, and a car to get to a single game, and playing chauffer for other referees whose flight were cancelled have created so many stories” Miller remembered.

When the public address announcer at Cable Dahmer Arena booms out the lineups Friday night, let’s make some noise for Brian Miller and his teammates too, as the MASL officials are truly an integral part of our game.