2022 NPSL Referees of the Season Announced
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce the 2022 NPSL Referees of
the Season. The honorees include Brian Cordova Munoz (West Region), Jason Guillen (South Region), Michael Koziara (Midwest Region), and Hayley Morway (East Region).
“The NPSL is pleased to recognize these referees from each of our four regions,” NPSL Director of Officials & Health and Safety Paul Scott said. “This season these individuals have stood out from the other officials in their respective areas to be honored by the league in partnership with U.S. Soccer. They are up and coming with aspirations to make it to NWSL and MLS. In fact, almost all the U.S. refs in MLS have come through the NPSL. We are proud to be a part of referee development in this country with competitive games and through the referee events we hold.”
Cordova Munoz (Stockton, California) was born in Denver, Colorado but quickly moved to Northern California at the age of two. He began to referee at the age of 15 for his local soccer club in Stockton, California. He played soccer his whole life but after high school he fell
in love with refereeing. He’s been fortunate enough to officiate at all levels, including FarWest regionals, USYS Nationals, international friendlies, U.S. Open Cup, MLS Next, USL League 2, and the NPSL. He’s currently a full-time student and works at an elementary school. He plans to become a physical education teacher after finishing college.
“It’s an honor to be selected as the West Region Referee of the Season,” Cordova Munoz said. “I am incredibly grateful for the support I have back home with CNRA. Without the continued support I receive from them, especially Matt, Derek, and Aidon, none of this would be possible. To my family and friends who have supported me throughout my journey this is just the beginning of something bigger. Working NPSL games has helped me in my development tremendously. To the younger referee generation behind me, always remember ‘never stop learning because life never stops teaching.’”
Guillen (Mesquite, Texas) started his referee career in 2004 as a Grade 8 referee at the Mesquite Soccer Association when he was a junior in high school. In 2006 he went off to Stephen F. Austin State University and officiated in their local league, experiencing East Texas Soccer culture firsthand. After graduating, he was invited to Dallas Boys Classic League, where he truly began to see his referee path. Now in 2022, he’s a Grassroots Mentor, Regional Referee, and hopes to receive his invitation for national camp by the end of the year.
“I thank the numerous mentors and assignors who helped me achieve this award, especially Trent McColly and Susan Terry,” Guillen said. “Their help is greatly appreciated and I hope to pay it forward for the next generation.”
Koziara (Royal Oak, Michigan) is a Regional Referee who started officiating as a high schooler in 2008. Over time, refereeing the beautiful game has become a passion which goes beyond his own matches: he was recently certified as a U.S. Soccer Referee Mentor himself. Away from soccer, Koziara is likely busy at work with the Boston Consulting Group, which he joined after completing his MBA from Northwestern University.
“As someone who watched NPSL games from the stands, my 2017 league debut remains a referee career highlight,” Koziara said. “Being named a Referee of the Season for the NPSL evokes a sense of accomplishment and gratitude. This is a testament to the supportive network of referees, family, and friends who made this journey possible. I look forward to working with the NPSL again in 2023 and aspire to one day join the dozens of NPSL alumni playing in the MLS.”
Morway (Natick, Massachusetts) is currently a graduate student at Southern New Hampshire University in the Masters of Data Analytics program. In 2006, she became a certified referee in Connecticut alongside her father and brother, and they would referee local games together in their hometown. She was selected to officiate in the USYS National Championships in 2019, and was fortunate to receive the U-16 girls final. She also officiated her first NPSL game in 2019. She really enjoys working in the NPSL because of the high level of play and the numerous opportunities to improve. This year she received her first NPSL playoff assignment and learned a lot from the game itself as well as the referee crew.
“Being selected as one of the 2022 NPSL Referees of the Season is a great honor,” Morway said. “I owe this achievement to the mentorship I’ve received over the years from countless assessors, as well as my fellow referees because every game has made me a better official.”