Philadelphia-based referee Kathryn Nesbitt is one of three U.S. Soccer referees working the FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal between Australia and England on Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. eastern time at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
Nesbitt will serve as the Offside Video Assistant Referee in the match while fellow U.S. Soccer referees Tori Penso (referee) and Brooke Mayo (assistant referee) were also selected.
U.S. referees Armando Villarreal and Felisha Mariscal officiated in the earlier semifinal match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, in which Villarreal served as Assistant VAR and Mariscal as Offside VAR.
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.
Katja 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.
The six make up the contingent of American referees who were selected to officiate at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The referee assignments for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final will be announced at a later date.