NOAH KENYAWANI
PRO AR Development Group

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What are the top games that you are working now?

I now have the privilege of serving as an assistant referee on the professional level in the USL-1 as well as USL Championships.

What ongoing training is required to work these games?

Much of my current training consists of ongoing learning through monthly webinars, film review, game expectations, and game reminders. In addition, I ensure to stay fit through my own personal fitness plan while also enlisting in training camps to enhance the physical and psychological aspects of my game.

What is your connection to Arizona or ASRA?

Arizona is somewhere I proudly call home and is a place that is dear to my heart. If not for Arizona, I would not be at the level I am because of the number of possibilities I have been presented with while in this beautiful state. My development and story to going from the lowest level to a professional referee is the epitome of what it means to persevere and show resilience and I am proud of the difficult work I have done to be where I am. 

How did ASRA or individuals within the state help you in your referee career?

I truly believe that behind every successful and competent referee, there is a team that is often never seen or credited. Thus, as someone who has started from the bottom and have come up to the top, I cannot be true to myself if I do no credit the compassion, kindness, lessons, and inputs I have received from my team over the years. Not only did these unique individuals offer the basics of what it meant to be an efficient referee on the field, but they continue to point me in directions of development that I never thought possible, and this selfless act is what I am most grateful for. The list of people who have engaged in my development with their selflessness is a list that will fill pages in a novel, however, these individuals continue to leave a lasting impact on my overall development and continued growth. These Individuals include the likes of, Karen Philips, Maggie Barton, Barry Parks, Miguel Carmona, Chris McConkey, Todd Sargi, Tim Beeler and Richard Hernon.  

What is a game that you really remember from your time in Arizona?

The games that I will cherish for a long time to come was being an assistant referee during the Major League Soccer preseason match where the Portland Timbers took on the Seattle Sounders. This opportunity of a lifetime was afforded to me through hard work and of course someone taking a chance on someone like myself. An opportunity that I will forever feel honored and blessed to have been a part of. 

What advice do you have for referees who want to reach your level?

First of all, it is a great honor to be where I am and have an opportunity to pass on advice to the future cohort of referees. The primary advice that I hope the next generation of referees get right is to master the art of patience. In this day and age, it is ingrained in us to do things faster than everyone else and be the first one to surpass others in the same field as ours. However, this advice will continue to set you up to face adversity and fail. Therefore, make it your intention to be patient with your career and focus on becoming a craftsman/women of your profession. Once you are able to master the laws of the game and have spent thousands of hours mastering this craft, you will be where you are meant to me. And when you are patient and hard-working simultaneously, you will be so good that they cannot and will not ignore you and your talent! Don’t forget to smile and have fun on your journey to excellence.