World Cup Appointments: Wednesday, June 18
We have our first repeat referee of the tournament, and it’s a bit of a delightful surprise: Mark Geiger of USA.
As I mentioned earlier, Geiger really impressed in his inaugural performance between Colombia and Greece (above) and I expected to see him again. But not quite so soon, and in quite so big of a game. Spain v. Chile should be a real cracker, and it shows great faith in him that he’s been given the reigns.
This is a very good sign for Geiger.
Pedro Proenca of Portugal will take Cameroon v. Croatia, and I think that’s deliberate. Between poor refereeing and being photographed naked by
stalkers paparazzi, Croatia are at the breaking point. Proenca is not only an excellent referee, but is a very calming presence on the pitch. He just might be what Croatia need to feel less persecuted.
Another interesting thing about Wednesday’s appointments? Here we are, seven days into the tournament and no Howard Webb. They are eventually going to use him, but repeating Geiger so early and not choosing Webb raises eyebrows…
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
Assistant: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Fourth Official: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)
Assistant: Sean Hurd (USA)
Assistant: Joe Fletcher (CAN)
Fourth Official: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Referee: Pedro Proenca (POR)
Assistant: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant: Jose Trigo (POR)
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (GUA)
I think this is a huge test for Geiger. The assessment for the first game may have come back with high marks in a normal difficulty match and Spain and Chile will be a very difficult match. FIFA will want to see what Mark has in the bag. If they perform at this fixture, their road to the final may be paved.
I wouldn’t go that far. 🙂 We have a long way to go. But it is a HUGE test, because he was pretty much not pushed in his first game. He will be in this one.
Wow, I’m surprised to see that. Given both the caliber of the teams and the circumstances of the game (Spain desperately needing a win and all that) I would’ve thought they would’ve picked a more experienced referee. Not that I’m complaining! Good luck to Geiger & Co. Go MLS 🙂
I, too, was surprised. Webb hasn’t had a match yet, and Proenca is at Cameroon v. Croatia. Both are more experienced and arguably stronger referees than Geiger…
I’m thinkin’, like you are, that he’s getting Spain v Chile as a test. I mean in his earlier match, the Colombians and Greeks were acting like gentlemen most of the time. My only regret is that the match comes on in the middle of my work day, so may only catch glimpses of the match. FIFA know what they have in Proenca and Webb…..
It’s still a BIG test. Busacca wouldn’t have thrown Geiger into it just as a test; too much is at stake. He thinks he can do well. (My background is Swiss, so I think ridiculously highly of Massimo Busacca, admittedly, but still…)