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American Referee Looks Beyond World Cup Group Stage

American referee Mark Geiger and U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann both share the same goal of getting out of the group stages at the World Cup this summer. Both will also need a solid opening game if they want to progress to the latter stages of the tournament.

Geiger, a referee in MLS, is looking to become the first American referee to advance from a World Cup group stage. His first assignment could be any game from the seven groups not involving Klinsmann’s USA squad. FIFA won’t reveal the referee match schedule until a few days before kickoff.

"If you don't do well there, the tournament is done," Geiger said Thursday after a training seminar at FIFA for World Cup referees and assistants. "We need to focus on that first game wholeheartedly, make sure we nail that and get it right." Should he pass that test, the former math teacher acknowledged that it would be his dream to officiate the final. "It's like any team, any player, any coach, you want to be in the final," the 39-year-old said. Geiger noted that up until now, the highlight of his career was officiating the final of the U-20 World Cup between Brazil and Portugal in 2011, which the former won 3-2.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

1 comment about "American Referee Looks Beyond World Cup Group Stage ".
  1. R2 Dad, April 12, 2014 at 1:41 a.m.

    Well done. However, I'm a little confused. Who are the ARs? "In 2011, at the Under-20 World Cup played in Colombia, Geiger and his regular assistants Sean Hurd and Canadian Joe Fletcher were rewarded with the final." When reviewing the list of 2010 WC officials, UEFA and COMNEBOL referees got ARs from their home country, but "lesser" regions didn't. Is this a handicap for referees outside of those two associations? Hungary got a 3 man crew, Uruguay got two. If MLS thinks they're making progress, one of their goals should be to field two 3-man crews for the World Cup. That would improve our standing within FIFA and demonstrate that many of our officials really are world-class.

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