World Cup ref Geiger aims for American record

The Associated Press

ZURICH (AP) -- Mark Geiger and Jurgen Klinsmann are in similar spots as they prepare for the World Cup. Both need a good opening match if they want to progress to the knockout rounds.

Geiger is trying to become the first American referee to advance from the World Cup group stage.

Klinsmann coaches the U.S., and his first challenge is June 16 against Ghana. Germany and Portugal complete Group G.

Geiger is the first American official at the World Cup since 2002. His assignment could be any match from the other seven groups. The former high school math teacher from New Jersey won't know which until days before kickoff.

Geiger says Thursday, after a FIFA training seminar: ''If you don't do well there, the tournament is done.''

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