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World Cup Match 5: Geiger’s Crew earns favorable Marks… and another assignment

b2ap3_thumbnail_geiger2014.jpgIt was an early Saturday morning after a late Friday night for this Blogger (so sue me if I go astray!)  After toasting the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings well into the wee hours of the morning… who am I kidding?  I was asleep before 11:30, with my alarm set for 8:00am in great anticipation of the debut of our hybrid North American officiating team in Brazil: 




GROUP C, Match 5 
14 June 2014, 18:00 CET 
Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte

Referee: Mark GEIGER (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Sean Mark HURD (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Joe FLETCHER (CAN)
Fourth Official: Alireza FAGHANI (IRN)



After two match days and four results in the books, we’ve already seen two games stained by officiating controversies (is “controversy” a strong enough word?).  So the referees and assistant referees managed to spoil only half of the games… reminding me of Jack Nicholson’s line in the 1996 film “Mars Attacks” after the aliens take out Congress:


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The “forgotten” men of football.

b2ap3_thumbnail_worldcupball.jpgNow that most domestic seasons have been completed and the international club competitions have reached their conclusions, with highs and lows on all fronts, we are gearing up for the “greatest show on earth.” The great Brazilian legend Pele once called it, “the beautiful game.”


The 2014 World Cup is “just around the corner” and the makeup and seedings have been completed. It just remains for the time to tick by to the June 12 launch in Rio de Janeiro.


By the time it reaches its climax on Sunday 13th July a new world soccer champion will be “crowned” to the acclaim of many and the disgust perhaps of some.


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AR decisions can decide the game – just ask Chiquimarco (or Chiquidrácula)!

ChiquimarcoIn my last two blogs, (fairly or not) I grilled a few of our colleagues… So, who’s performance has put him on “The Chopping Block” this week?


Sorry folks, but this isn’t a cooking show.  We’ll leave the chopping to the Food Network, where it takes eight hours or more (a full day of takes, re-takes and more re-takes) to film a 30-minute culinary competition.  We all know that, unlike our favorite television programs, competitive soccer gives game officials just one take – only one shot to get key decisions correct.


And when we say correct, we mean consistently making the best decision


In Major League Soccer, the stakes are extremely high, demanding near perfection on the pitch:  Just as coaches expect their athletes to make consistently sound decisions, we EXPECT our professional American and Canadian referees and assistant referees to consistently make the best decisions in every game situation.


As they say, it’s lonely at the top...


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2014 FIFA Panelists Named… Why am I Scratching My Head?

b2ap3_thumbnail_fifa.jpgAnd then there were… Nine?  The 2014 FIFA Referee and Assistant Referee lists went viral last week, and true to past form, I again find myself scratching my head… which isn’t good, as my hairline continues to recede, and I am approaching the need of a really creative comb over.  (I saw “American Hustle” a few weeks back, so there still might be hope...)


The FIFA Men’s Referee list of seven is maintained from 2013… and that’s not a bad thing.  Sophomores Juan Guzman (16 MLS games as Referee in 2013) and Chris Penso (17) return unscathed.  Ricardo Salazar remains our most tenured Referee, entering his tenth season on the panel, followed by Baldomero Toledo (creeping closer to retirement age) and Jair who joined in 2007.  I’m not sure if either Allen Chapman (22 games) or Armando Villareal (also 22) were awaiting phone calls that didn’t come… but I have to think that both are being seriously considered for future panel appointments, as they should be.


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IFAB makes changes to the Laws of the Game and calls for additional testing of the Goal Line Technology.

The International Football Association Board (the IFAB) agreed to extend the testing of the Goal Line Technology (GLT). IFAB approved two companies, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, for the second phase of testing. According to the statement issued by FIFA, "the second test phase - to take place between March and June 2012 - will rigorously assess the reliability and accuracy of each system, as well as how robust the technology is. Following the conclusion of Test Phase 2, should one or more companies fulfill the criteria, a Special Meeting of the IFAB in Kiev on 2 July 2012 will decide on a definitive approval of GLT."

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