Major League Soccer

Mark Geiger replaces Howard Webb as head of MLS referees

(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File)

NEW YORK (AP) Mark Geiger will take over from Howard Webb as the head of referees in Major League Soccer.

The 48-year-old Geiger, who retired as a referee after the 2018 season, was promoted Friday to general manager of the Professional Referee Organization that supplies MLS match officials.

Geiger started as a MLS referee in 2004 and officiated 186 regular-season games and the 2014 MLS championship.

He worked three games at the 2014 World Cup, becoming the first American to referee a knockout stage match when he officiated France's round of 16 victory over Nigeria. Geiger worked three more games at the 2018 World Cup, including England's round of 16 win over Colombia, and was the VAR for five matches.

Geiger was hired as PRO's director of senior match officials in 2019.

Webb, referee of the 2010 World Cup final, became PRO's manager of video assistant referee operations in 2017 and succeeded Peter Walton as PRO's general manager in January 2018.

Webb refereed in the Premier League from 2003-14. He said last August he was leaving at the end of the season to become chief refereeing officer of the Professional Game Match Officials, which is responsible for the officiating in England. He took over from Mike Riley, who had been PGMO's managing director for 13 years.

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Updated February 3, 2023

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