CHICAGO (Aug. 18, 2023) – U.S. Soccer Referees Tori Penso, Brooke Mayo, Kathryn Nesbitt and Armando Villarreal have been selected to officiate the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final which will be contested by Spain and England on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 6 a.m. ET at Stadium Australia in Sydney. Penso will be the Referee, while Mayo and Nesbitt will serve as Assistant Referees and Villarreal as Assistant Video Assistant Referee (AVAR).
Penso, Mayo and Nesbitt’s assignments are historic as they mark the first time that U.S. Soccer referees will lead the officiating crew in a senior FIFA World Cup Final. The appointments also mark the second consecutive senior FIFA World Cup Final that U.S. Soccer referees will take part, with Nesbitt also serving as Reserve Assistant Referee, along with Ismael Elfath (Fourth Official) and Corey Parker (Video Assistant Referee) during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina and France last December.
Their assignment marks the first time in history that U.S. Soccer referees have been selected to officiate a senior World Cup Final and caps off a fantastic tournament for U.S. Soccer officials, which included Penso, Mayo and Nesbitt officiating the semifinal matchup between Australia and England, while Villarreal and Felisha Mariscal were assigned to the semifinal contest between Spain and Sweden. Katja Koroleva rounds out the group of American referees assigned to the tournament and also officiated in the quarterfinals along with Mariscal, Villarreal and Nesbitt.
Penso earned appointment to the FIFA Panel in 2021 and made her world championship debut last summer at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She also refereed last year’s Concacaf W Championship and Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, which were her first major international events. Penso also served as referee for the 2021 NWSL Championship.
Mayo made her World Cup debut in Australia and New Zealand this summer after earning a spot on the FIFA Panel in 2018. The Tennessee native worked her first world championship events last summer at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. In 2022, she ran the sideline at the Concacaf W Championship and the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship after also officiating the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Nesbitt and Villarreal are fresh off of representing the USA at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where Nesbitt was one of six women appointed to officiate the Men’s World Cup for the first time. One of the United States’ most accomplished referees, Nesbitt was a part of the historic Costa Rica-Germany match at Qatar 2022 that featured an all-women crew for the first time in World Cup history.
Koroleva, Nesbitt, Mariscal and Villarreal also officiated the Quarterfinal match between England and Colombia in Sydney on Aug. 12. The tournament is the second time that Koroleva, Nesbitt and Mariscal have officiated at a Women’s World Cup after taking the world stage for the first time in 2019 in France.
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