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U.S. referee Mark Geiger selected for World Cup

January 15, 2014|By Kevin Baxter
  • Mark Geiger, who has worked MLS games since 2004, will ref at the World Cup this year.
Mark Geiger, who has worked MLS games since 2004, will ref at the World Cup… (Moises Castillo / Associated…)

For the first time since 2002, a U.S. official will work the World Cup this summer.

Mark Geiger, a 39-year-old high school math teacher from Beachwood, N.J., was one of 25 referees selected by FIFA to officiate the tournament.

Geiger, who worked the 2012 Olympics, has refereed Major League Soccer matches since 2004 and handled the final of the 2011 U-20 World Cup. He was named MLS Referee of the Year in 2011.

Geiger will be joined by his regular assistants, American Sean Hurd and Canadian Joe Fletcher.

The last U.S. official to run a World Cup match was Brian Hall, who did two group-play matches in 2002. No American has ever been selected to officiate beyond group play.

American Eric Boria will also go to Brazil as part of a two-man support crew alongside Mexican referee Roberto Moreno-Salazar. In addition, CONCACAF will be represented at the World Cup by a Salvadoran trio, a Mexican threesome and a Central American support pair of Walter Alexander Lopez of Guatemala and Leonel Leal Bermudez of Costa Rica.

Although the 25 officiating crews were announced Tuesday, any of them can be dropped if they fail a fitness test this spring.

Also chosen by FIFA was English referee Howard Webb, who worked the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. He issued 14 cautions and a red card in the match, won by Spain in overtime.

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