American referee to officiate semifinal clash between Brazil and Germany

Dirty Tackle
American referee to officiate semifinal clash between Brazil and Germany
American referee to officiate semifinal clash between Brazil and Germany

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Jurgen Klinsmann's battle-worn Team USA players may have all gone home to resume duties with their various clubs, but not all of the Americans taking part in the 2014 World Cup are done just yet.

American referee Mark Geiger has been named as the fourth official for Tuesday’s semifinal clash between Brazil and Germany.

Geiger has already had four assignments at the 2014 World Cup, officiating the Colombia vs. Greece and Spain vs. Chile matches in the group stage, and becoming the first American to take charge of a knockout round match when he refereed France vs. Nigeria. He was also the fourth official in the controversial group stage clash between Italy and Uruguay.

[Related: Brazil gambles with lineup replacement for Neymar]

The former math teacher has generally been praised for his performances in the World Cup group stage, though Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi took issue with some of his decisions in the round of 16 encounter that saw France eliminate Nigeria.

Now the veteran MLS referee is on the verge of setting another benchmark for American officials, as he’ll become the first U.S. ref to officiate a World Cup semifinal.

The 39-year-old Geiger will be the fourth official in a Germany vs. Brazil clash that will surely see both sides going all out to reach the World Cup final. Mexican official Marco Antonio Rodriguez, who refereed the Italy vs. Uruguay clash in which Luis Suarez sunk his teeth into Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder (and went unpunished until a FIFA review later slapped him with a four-month ban), will referee the match.

A member of the Professional Referee Organization with over 100 MLS matches under his belt, Geiger will now enjoy the distinction of having gone farther in the World Cup than any American before him.

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