clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union - Flashback Friday: The original Geiger Show

New, 3 comments

With the Philadelphia Union set to visit D.C. United and RFK Stadium tomorrow, let's go back to the game that gave us such unforgettable turns of phrase as "Geigering," "joker in the middle," and so much more.

It was a little over two years ago that Mark Geiger returned from the London Olympics to slum it in MLS for two years as he bided his time until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. And in one game during that 2012 afterglow hangover, he managed to lay the seeds for a couple different narratives: one short term, and one somewhat longer. That game was D.C. United hosting the Philadelphia Union, and you can watch the highlights above.

First the shorter term narrative: encroachment. With Dwayne de Rosario at the spot to put United up 2-1, Hamdi Salihi entered the arc a couple steps too early, and Mark Geiger ordered the penalty to be retaken. DeRo would, of course, sky his retake, burning the words Geiger and encroachment into DC fans' brains. The other shoe would eventually drop in the playoffs, when Geiger whistled Theirry Henry (among other Red Bulls) for encroaching much more flagrantly on a Kenny Cooper penalty, forcing a retake - and a miss - to set the stage for Nick DeLeon's eventual series winner. Serious props to the MLS writing staff on nailing that particular plot detail.

Last weekend we saw the resolution (for now) of Geiger's longer story arc: generally sucking coming off major international tournaments, particularly when there's any kind of extracurricular scuffle. No redemption for consistency this time, it represents the fatal flaw in the hero of all American soccer referees. Back in 2012, after the encroachment call, Geiger red carded Branko Boskovic for... reasons?... the first of three red cards in a game that would finish 10v9. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago in Harrison, N.J., and after a Fabian Espindola red card that most agree was incorrectly given, Geiger only gave a yellow card to Roy Miller, who had wrapped both hands around Davy Arnaud's throat.

Anyway, Mark Geiger is not officiating the match tomorrow afternoon (that honor goes to Silviu Petrescu), but the occasion of the Union's visit reminded me of that first game that made us forever aware of the Geiger Show. Where were you for the many Geigerings that we've seen over the last few years? Let us know down in the comments?