USA will be only nation with two referees at World Cup

The USA won't have a team at the 2018 World Cup, but it will have two referees -- Mark Geiger and Jair Marrufo -- in Russia.

Indeed, it will be the only country with more than one referee.

Geiger, who also worked at the 2014 World Cup, and Marrufo will be joined by two U.S. assistant referees, Frank Anderson and Corey Rockwell.

The USA is one of four countries where VAR is being used that will have referees in Russia. The others are Germany, Italy and Poland. Four other VAR countries -- Australia, Belgium, Portugal and South Korea -- didn't have a referee selected.

One of the big concerns with the introduction of VAR for the World Cup is with referees who have not worked with the system on a regular basis.

England won't have a referee at the 2018 World Cup. As recently as 2010, Englishman Howard Webb refereed the final. He headed MLS's VAR project and is now PRO's chief.

For the first time since 1938, the last World Cup at which British teams did not enter, no British official will be at the World Cup.

7 comments about "USA will be only nation with two referees at World Cup".
  1. beautiful game, March 30, 2018 at 11:12 a.m.

    Two of the most dedicated MLS whistle swallowers...FIFA continues to refuse to address the officiating hubris on the pitch. As for implementing VAR, it hasn't been tested enough to ensure its obvious kinks are worked out.  Mentioning Webb in this article is a reminder of his "king of whistle swallowers" WC performance, and his being so handsomely rewarded by MLS for the thuggery it enables on the pitch. FIFA and the likes of Webb is like promoting Agent Orange for its guaranteed defoliation without regard to the consequences.

  2. Ginger Peeler, March 31, 2018 at 9:04 a.m.

    Prior to, and during, the 2014 World Cup, I followed Mark Geiger’s games and found him to be an exceptionally fair-minded referee. But, after he returned to MLS, at some point, everything changed.  As you say, I w, he “swallowed his whistle” and allowed outright thuggery on the field. When my kids took the referees’ course, they were each told that the number one responsibility of the referee is to protect the players. The pre 2014 World Cup Geiger did just that. The post World Cup Geiger? Not so much. Frankly, I see very little conscientious refereeing in any MLS games nowadays. Perhaps the referees chosen for this upcoming World Cup will be directed to protect the players above all else. I know all the refs chosen for this Cup will undergo extensive training (if previous preparations for Cups are followed) perhaps we’ll get our old Geiger back and Marrufo will discover his whistle? We can only hope. 

  3. R2 Dad, March 31, 2018 at 3:05 p.m.

    Geiger is centering the LA derby--lets see how he does.

  4. Ric Fonseca replied, March 31, 2018 at 10:04 p.m.

    Ginger, Iw & R2D:  Sat, March 31. I couldn't agree more with you!  I saw today's match the supposed newly named/minted "El Trafico" game between LAFC and Carson Galaxy, and I am sorry to say that of the respect I had for Geiger has gone out the window, especially on the obvious Ibra's last goal, in which he was very-off side, at least from what the tv showed.  I betcha that the VAR folks probably communicated this to Geiger on the field, that at the time the ball was passed to him he was at least 1/2 yard in offside position.
    As for the game itself, while the LAFC had the first half, I will also betcha that Bradley did not direct his players to button down the hatch tighter in the 2nd half, as his charges thought they had the game in the bag and were not as aggressive as in the first half; that was a clear show of overconfidence, and somewhat lackadaisical play, and Ibra's first goal was a lesson well taken by the LFC keeper who lollygaged back to his goal area.  Mind you it looks as if the whole show was planned between Sigi and Bradley like:  "LAFCyou take the first half, then weLAG do ours then allowing Ibra to play the last 20 minutes..."  It is all for show...

    Back to Geiger, I'd say to him, "Ref, have you no shame???" 


  5. R2 Dad replied, April 1, 2018 at 3:41 p.m.

    re: Ibra offside on second goal. Ric, are you referring to the lead-up to the goal or the goal itself? As far as I can tell, since he didn't participate in play in the lead-up, he was NOT offside and that's why play continued. They changed the offside rule years ago--being in an offside position by itself is no longer enough--you have to participate in play. I think Geiger and the AR determined that Ibra wasn't close enough to the ball or opponent to affect defender reaction/postioning.

  6. R2 Dad, April 1, 2018 at 7:06 p.m.

    Here's a German referee definitely NOT going to Russia this summer: Tobias Stieler, at yesterday's Freiburg vs Shalke match.

    "Freiburg skipper Nils Petersen lost his rag at the decision to award Schalke the penalty that broke the deadlock on Saturday and probably would have expected a yellow card to come his way. It did, but Petersen didn't notice, primarily because the referee (Tobias Stieler) showed it to his back. The striker continued to remonstrate and, much to his surprise, was then shown a second yellow and dismissed - without knowing where the first came from. As he departed, his boss, Christian Streich took up the fight and had to be restrained from approaching the official before being sent off himself. "

    One of the most important requirements as a match official: don't make the game all about you, which Stieler was most certainly unable to manage. D'oh!

  7. Goal Goal, April 1, 2018 at 7:56 p.m.

    Well at least we have someone from the US going.   The team missed the bus.

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