All-U.S. Referee Crew to Work FIFA Women’s World Cup Final for Historic 1st Time

From USYouthSoccer.org:

US Youth Soccer wanted to share the following information, possibly the most significant and impactful piece of news in the history of soccer refereeing in the United States.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Final between England and Spain on Sunday August 20th, 2023 in Sydney, Australia:

  • Referee:  Tori Penso (South Region)
  • Assistant Referee:  Brooke Mayo (South Region)
  • Assistant Referee:  Kathryn Nesbitt (East Region)
  • Support Video Assistant Referee:  Armando Villareal (South Region)

All have worked at least one US Youth Soccer competition while they were coming up through the ranks. This is the first time for any American FIFA Officials, man or woman, that we will be the on-field referees for a Senior Men’s or Women’s World Cup Final.

This comes on the heels of Penso’s crew taking charge of two other knockout games and two group stage games, the most recent being the semifinal between England and Australia.  This type of back-to-back assignment at the latest stage in a FIFA tournament is virtually unprecedented, especially at the FIFA Senior Events level of competition. Penso and Mayo will also join a very small group of FIFA officials worldwide to ever be assigned 5 games on the field within a single FIFA Competition.

We had another American crew, led by Katja Koroleva (Midwest and West Region).  Her crew has worked 3 games on the field during the tournament, including one knockout game in the quarterfinal round.  Her assistant referees were Nesbitt and Felisha Mariscal (West Region… and a Cal South referee).

To round out this incredible group of match officials, Villareal has been working the tournament as a Video Assistant Referee in multiple matches in various roles.  The final will be his fourth straight knock out game appointment, having worked every single elimination round, beginning in the Round of 16 when he initiated two very important on field video reviews in the match between England and Nigeria.

Tune in on FOX to watch our very own “Team USA” of referees wow the world, this Sunday, August 20th at 6 a.m. Eastern Time (3 a.m. Pacific Time).


Want to be like Cal South’s own Felisha Mariscal and the rest of the American referees who worked in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup? Ready to start your own referee career?

Find out how to begin your journey by visiting https://calsouth.com/new-referees/.

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