Yes, an American referee nailed it.
Mark Geiger, who has reffed in MLS for ten years, earned universal plaudits for his management of the Group C opener between Colombia and Greece on Saturday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, at the 2014 World Cup.
Given the issues in earlier matches, Geiger became an instant talking point on Twitter and Facebook for his steady performance. The general sentiment, of course, was surprise that an American could do such a thing.
He issued three yellow cards in the match without argument: Two were late on the challenge, while centerback Sokratis Papastathopoulos was reckless with his tackle on Victor Ibarbo in the 55th minute.
Geiger, who looked comfortable on the field and engaged players with a smile every now and then, also showed personality on a handful of incidents where players tried to lure him into calling fouls. But he let play continue, including on a 47th minute Georgios Samaras dive in the box which probably could've earned a yellow for simulation.
It's worth noting that his assistants, American Sean Hurd and Canadian Joe Fletcher, nailed every offside in the match based on the replays.
We'll see how many more World Cup matches the performance earned for the trio.
Ps Mark Geiger is having a blinder (so far) #MLS— Arlo White (@arlowhite) June 14, 2014
As noted over @InsideMLS, referee Mark Geiger deserves a hat tip for his display in Colombia-Greece. Rock solid in the middle.— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) June 14, 2014