World Cup: Referee Mark Geiger is first American to take the field at Brazil 2014
New Jersey native Mark Geiger will look to put an end to an early run of World Cup referee controversies when he takes the field on Saturday for the Group C match between Colombia and Greece in Belo Horizonte.
The 39-year-old retired math teacher started officiating matches as a 13-year-old to pocket some extra money and now he finds himself on the biggest stage in world soccer (read his story here).
He's a full-time soccer referee as part of the Professional Referees Organization (PRO), which manages professional officials in the USA. Geiger, who debuted as an MLS referee in 2004, had 117 MLS games under his belt entering the 2014 season.
Geiger is part of an elite group of 25 center referees who were chosen by FIFA for the 2014 World Cup. Based on his own performance and the match-ups, Geiger could land additional matches in Brazil.
How will he do on Saturday?
“I don’t think he’ll be making any mistakes,” former MLS referee Michael Kennedy told the Washington Post.