Mark Geiger

American referee Mark Geiger named 4th official for Brazil vs. Germany semifinal

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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.

Geiger was criticized by Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi for his decisions during Nigeria’s 2-0 defeat to France in the last 16 match but drew praise in both the group games he refereed. You can’t win ’em all.

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.

An American ref is going far in the World Cup.

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS playoff scenarios ]

Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.