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Mark William Geiger (born August 25, 1974) is an American sports administrator and former soccer referee. He is the senior director of match officials at the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), which oversees domestic referees in Major League Soccer (MLS). Geiger previously officiated in MLS and was on the FIFA International Referees List from 2008 to 2019. At the international level, Geiger refereed the 2012 Olympics; at the 2013 and 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cups; and at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. At the 2014 World Cup, he became the first referee from the United States to officiate a knockout match at a World Cup tournament. Before becoming a full-time referee, Geiger was a high school mathematics teacher.

Mark Geiger
Mark Geiger.jpg
Geiger in 2018
Full name Mark William Geiger
Born (1974-08-25) August 25, 1974 (age 45)
Beachwood, New Jersey, U.S.
Other occupation Mathematics teacher
Years League Role
2002–2004 A-League Referee
2004–2019 MLS Referee
2011–2019 NASL Referee
Years League Role
2008–2019 FIFA listed Referee

Refereeing careerEdit

Geiger first took up refereeing in 1988. He became a United States Soccer Federation National Referee in 2003 and officiated in Major League Soccer from 2004 to 2018. He has officiated in CONCACAF tournaments since becoming a FIFA referee in 2008, and has officiated Gold Cup and other international tournaments and fixtures. Geiger was selected for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in 2011, where he refereed the final.[1]

Geiger officiated at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.[2] He officiated the Group E game between eventual tournament champions Brazil and Austria at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez in Barranquilla.[3] He then took charge of the Group B game between Uruguay and Cameroon at Estadio El Campín in Bogotá.[4] He was appointed to the Round of 16 match between Spain and South Korea at Estadio Palogrande in Manizales.[5] Finally, he refereed the Final with American Assistant Referee Sean Hurd and Canadian Assistant Referee Joe Fletcher, between Brazil and Portugal at Estadio El Campín in Bogotá.[6] This was the first time a referee from the United States has ever officiated a major men's tournament final.[7]

Geiger was selected as the Major League Soccer referee of the year for the 2011 season, and then again in 2014.[8][9]

In 2012, Geiger was selected as one of 16 referees to officiate at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Geiger took charge of the Group D match between Spain vs. Japan[10] and the quarterfinal between Japan vs. Egypt. In 2013, Geiger was an official at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.[11]

Geiger was selected as CONCACAF's representative referee for the 2013 Club World Cup.[12]

2014 FIFA World CupEdit

Geiger was one of 25 referees appointed for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[13][14] Geiger described the assignment to the World Cup as "an immensely proud moment".[15] Geiger officiated the 2014 World Cup Group C match between Colombia and Greece at the Estadio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte;[16] the 2014 World Cup Group B match between Chile and Spain at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro;[17] and the 2014 World Cup Round of 16 match between France and Nigeria at the Estádio Nacional in Brasilia, the first American to referee in the knockout round of a FIFA World Cup.[18]

2017 FIFA Confederations CupEdit

Geiger was selected to officiate the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. In the Group Stage, Geiger officiated the Group B match between Australia and Germany in Sochi as well as the Group A match between New Zealand and Portugal in Saint Petersburg.[19][20]

2018 FIFA World CupEdit

Geiger was one of 36 referees selected for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, working with a North American crew of Joe Fletcher from Canada and Frank Anderson from USA.[21] Geiger served as referee on three matches at the tournament and was VAR on five matches.

Geiger’s first assignment was the second group stage match of Group B between Portugal and Morocco. Geiger worked as the VAR In the match between Denmark and Australia. During the match he advised the referee, Antonio Mateu Lahoz, to review a possible handball in the penalty area. After review, Lahoz awarded a penalty kick that allowed the Socceroos to score and secure a 1-1 draw.[22] He subsequently worked as VAR for the Group D match between Argentina and Iceland, the Group E match featuring Belgium and Tunisia and the Round of 16 contest between Uruguay and Portugal before his final assignment in the tournament’s Third Place match.

Geiger then officiated the Group F third match between South Korea and Germany.[23] South Korea defeated Germany 2-0, but neither team advanced since Sweden defeated Mexico.[24] He then officiated at the Round of 16 game between Colombia and England. England advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Geiger was selected as one of the final 12 referees on the shortlist to officiate the final or third place play-off match,[25] and was ultimately selected to be VAR on the 3rd place match between Belgium and England.[26]


On January 9, 2019, Geiger announced that he would retire from refereeing and take up a position within PRO as its director of senior match officials.[27]

FIFA World Cup recordEdit

Mark Geiger and goalkeepers Jordan Pickford from England and David Ospina from Colombia before the penalty shootout in the Round of 16
2014 FIFA World Cup – Brazil
Date Match Venue Round
June 14, 2014   Colombia  Greece Belo Horizonte Group stage
June 18, 2014   Spain  Chile Rio de Janeiro Group stage
June 30, 2014   France  Nigeria Brasília Round of 16
2018 FIFA World Cup – Russia
Date Match Venue Round
June 20, 2018   Portugal  Morocco Moscow Group stage
June 27, 2018   South Korea  Germany Kazan Group stage
July 3, 2018   Colombia  England Moscow Round of 16

Personal lifeEdit

Geiger was born on August 25, 1974 and grew up in Beachwood, New Jersey. After studying teaching at Trenton State College, he became a mathematics teacher at Lacey Township High School in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, a role that he gave up to become a full-time referee. While at Lacey Township High School, Geiger was among 103 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2010.[28][29][30]



  1. ^ "Geiger to referee U-20 final, CCL Round 2". CONCACAF. August 19, 2011. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ "U.S. Soccer Referee Mark Geiger and Assistant Referee Mark Hurd to Participate at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia". U.S. Soccer. May 16, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "Match Report - Brazil 3-0 Austria". FIFA. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "Match Report - Uruguay 0-1 Cameroon". FIFA. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  5. ^ "Match Report - Spain 0-0 Korea Republic". FIFA. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  6. ^ "Match Report - Brazil 3-2 Portugual". FIFA. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  7. ^ "Geiger, Hurd and Fletcher to Officiate FIFA U20 World Cup Final". Professional Soccer Referees Association. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "MLS veteran Geiger named Referee of the Year". Major League Soccer. November 10, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  9. ^ "Mark Geiger named MLS Referee of the Year; Paul Scott voted Assistant Referee of the Year". Major League Soccer. November 25, 2014. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  10. ^ "Matchcast - Spain 0:1 Japan". FIFA. Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ "PRO Referee Roster". Professional Referee Organization. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "FCWC 2013 Appointments of Match Officials" (PDF). FIFA.
  13. ^ "Referee trios and support duos appointed for 2014 FIFA World Cup™". FIFA. January 15, 2014.
  14. ^ "Referees & Assistant referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™" (PDF). FIFA. January 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "Mark Geiger excited to fulfil World Cup dream". Professional Referee Organization. January 20, 2014.
  16. ^ "Referee designations for matches 5-8". FIFA. June 12, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil Match Result: Spain v Chile". FIFA.
  18. ^ "PRO 2014 World Cup assignments". Professional Referee Organization. June 28, 2014.
  19. ^ "Australia-Germany Match Overview". FIFA. June 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "New Zealand-Portugal Match Overview". FIFA. June 24, 2017.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "PRO referee Mark Geiger among those selected for final phase of World Cup". MLS Soccer. July 10, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Top American soccer referee Mark Geiger is retiring". USA Today. Associated Press. January 9, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  28. ^ "Open list of prospective referees & assistant referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  29. ^ "Presidential Math and Science Teachers Award Release" (Press release). The White House. June 7, 2010. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  30. ^ Day, Timothy D. (June 10, 2014). "Retired math teacher Mark Geiger is the only American selected to referee the World Cup". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2015.

External linksEdit