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2014 MLS Cup Playoffs - In focus: Knockout Round referees

Oct 29, 2014

The 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs begin this week with two play-in games, and PRO's Mark Geiger and Armando Villarreal have been assigned as the center officials.

FIFA World Cup referee Geiger will be at Toyota Stadium in charge of the Western Conference Knockout Round, between FC Dallas and Vancouver Whitecaps. He will be assisted by CJ Morgante and Matthew Nelson, with Ismail Elfath as fourth official.

Geiger last officiated FC Dallas back in September when they hosted Seattle Sounders, while he is yet to oversee a Vancouver game this year.

The assignment comes exactly a year after Geiger refereed Houston Dynamo versus Montreal Impact at the BBVA Compass Stadium in the 2013 Eastern Conference Knockout Round.

Villarreal was fourth official at that game in Houston but this time around he's in the middle, at Red Bull Arena on Thursday, when New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City go head-to-head.

The two teams clashed on Sunday in the last match of the regular season and Villarreal was in charge of that, as Bradley Wright-Phillips scored two goals to claim a share of the MLS' single-season scoring record and homefield advantage for the Red Bulls in the Knockout Round.

Peter Manikowski and Brian Dunn are the assigned assistant referees, while the experienced Silviu Petrescu will be the fourth official.

THE MEN IN THE MIDDLE

Mark Geiger - FC Dallas v Vancouver Whitecaps

Professional center official debut: Columbus Crew v San Jose Earthquakes - 05/29/2004
MLS games in 2014: 12
Fouls awarded: 299
Cards issued: 33 yellows (2.75 per game average) - 3 reds (0.25 per game average)
Last MLS assignment: Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy - CenturyLink Field - 10/25/2014

Armando Villarreal - New York Red Bulls v Sporting Kansas City

Professional center official debut: New York Red Bulls v Chivas USA - 05/23/2012
MLS games in 2014: 18
Fouls awarded: 365
Cards issued: 34 yellows (1.88 per game average) - 5 reds (0.27 per game average)
Last MLS assignment: Sporting Kansas City v New York Red Bulls - Sporting Park - 10/26/2014

Click here to see the MLS Playoff Knockout Round assignments in full


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