On Tuesday there will be an American in a World Cup semifinal. Just one. Not the eleven we were all hoping for.
Long-time Major League Soccer referee Mark Geiger has been appointed as the fourth official for the huge match between Brazil and Germany in Belo Horizonte.
FIFA have handed Geiger, 39, his fifth assignment of the 2014 World Cup as the former math teacher from New Jersey continues to impress in the center of the pitch. Geiger was the referee for France vs. Nigeria in the round of 16, as he was the first American to officiate a knockout round game, and he also took charge of the Colombia vs. Greece and Spain vs. Chile games in the group stages.
For the semifinal clash between Brazil and Germany, which is set to be a rambunctious affair as both teams battle it out to make the final, Mexican official Marco Antonio Rodriguez will be the referee. Rodriguez was the man in the middle when Luis Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, so he has had his share of controversy during the World Cup. Geiger will be on his guard.
Geiger has refereed over 100 matches in MLS and is a member of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO). He has long been touted for success on the global stage, as his refereeing performances in MLS have won him plenty of fans in the past few years.
Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.
The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).
Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.
Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.
On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).
Mesut Ozil is on international break, and bristling at reports that Arsenal is going to sell him.
The midfielder’s absence from the lineup last week had plenty speculating on his future, even more than usual. His contract expires in 2018, and several reports claimed he’d join Alexis Sanchez as players destined for elsewhere.
“And you think Wenger tells the journalist before he tells me? Then I know him differently,” Ozil told German outlet Welt.
“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”
Metro notes that Ozil also said he wants to win the Champions League, something that can only happen with Arsenal remaining in the Top Four. We suppose you could make snarky inferences from his “comfortable in London” phrasing, but we’ll leave it there.