American Mark Geiger to referee Greece’s opening match

American referee Mark Geiger

Mark Geiger, a school math teacher from New Jersey was picked to officiate Saturday’s match between Greece and Colombia. The 39-year-old American referee was among the 25 referees selected by FIFA.

Geiger has officiated Major League Soccer games since 2004 and had the privilege to become the first American referee to be selected in a World Cup game since 2002. The last American referee in a World Cup game was Brian Hall, who officiated Italy-Ecuador and England-Nigeria matches in 2002.

The last time an American officiated a Greek match was Arturo Angeles in 1994, when Greece lost 4-0 to Diego Maradona’s Argentina team.

The 20th FIFA World Cup began on June 12 and ends on July 13. Participating in the tournament are teams of 31 nations along with Brazil. A total of 64 matches will take place in 12 cities of Brazil. The first game for Greece is against Colombia on June 14.