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FUEL Soccer: Historic referee retires; Changes at top for NWSL; Sleep key to good health

Thursday is a perfect day for soccer!

‘Trailblazer’ US referee Geiger turning the page in his career

Mark Geiger, who in 2014 became first US referee to oversee a knockout stage World Cup match, as well as being the fourth official for the semifinal between Brazil and Germany, has given out his last yellow card and awarded his final penalty kick. Geiger, who won both 2014 Concacaf Referee of the Year and MLS Referee of the Year honors, has retired from refereeing.
But he won’t be far from the pitch.
Geiger was appointed as director of senior match officials for the Professional Referee Organization. In his new role, Geiger will oversee the work of officials operating at the MLS level.
His final assignment as a center official was last year’s MLS Western Conference Championship Leg 2 match between Kansas City and Portland. He signed off last month as an Video Assistant Referee (AVAR) at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi.
Geiger made his MLS refereeing debut in May 2004 and officiated 186 regular-season MLS games.
PRO GM Howard Webb on Geiger: “He has been a trailblazer for American officiating on the international stage and his achievements have helped to raise the credibility of our program globally.”

In 2011, Major League Soccer did an interesting piece on Geiger:

Becoming a referee is a way many former players stay involved in the great game of soccer. What qualities do you like to see in an official?

Changes at the top: New NWSL President Amanda Duffy has an “outstanding foundation” to work from

Since 2017, when Jeff Plush resigned from the role of league commissioner, the National Women’s Soccer League carried on without a replacement – until this month. Amanda Duffy, who was serving as an acting commissioner, was named the new president of the NWSL. While it’s a different title, Duffy will take over most of the duties that the commissioner has had to fulfill including the league’s day-to-day operations. She also will work with the league’s owners to continue to grow the NWSL.
“I would like to thank the NWSL Board for its support and confidence in me,” said Duffy. “The NWSL has made significant strides over the past six seasons thanks to the world class talent of our players, the vision of our owners and the commitment by everyone associated with the league to make NWSL the global destination for the very best in women’s professional soccer. Add to that the remarkable support from our fans, sponsors and media partners, and we’ve built an outstanding foundation that all of us can work from to realize the extraordinary promise of NWSL and each of our teams.”
Duffy joined the NWSL in January 2017 as Managing Director of Operations and was named Managing Director in 2018. She also also has a seat on the NWSL Media Board of Directors.
Before joining the NWSL, Amanda Duffy worked with Louisville City FC in the United Soccer League (USL) as a vice president of operations in 2014 before being made the General Manager in the same year and then being named as President a year later.

If you were president of the NWSL what would you do to help promote and grow the league? 

Staying Healthy: Getting proper sleep should be among everyone’s biggest goals

Rest and recovery isn’t a philosophy or cliche – it’s a way of life for most successful athletes. Soccer players especially – let’s just say a little more than baseball players – need to block off time in their schedule to rest and recover. And the best way to recover is to get proper sleep.
But getting proper sleep goes beyond the pitch, locker room and sports. It’s about quality of life and reducing the risk of serious illness – so this post is for everyone!
A number of important research studies have found links between lack of sleep and cancer, as well as other serious illnesses or medical conditions, such as stroke and heart disease.

How much sleep are you getting and how better do you play following a good night’s rest?

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