FIFA announced the referees for USA's 2nd match the other day.
Here they are:
COULIBALY Koman (MLI)
Assistant Referee 1
ACHIK Redouane (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2
CANDIDO Inacio (ANG)
MOHD SALLEH Subkhiddin (MAS)
Reserve Assistant Referee
GEK PHENG Jeffrey (SIN)
So we have a Malian referee, assistants from Morocco and Angola, the 4th official from Malaysia, and a Singaporean Reserve Assistant Referee.
Here is a very real question ... What language are they going to speak to each other with?
Here is a follow up to ponder ... Does it matter? Forget fancy headsets, what about eye contact?
COULIBALY'S "official" stats from FIFA are here, and a brief dossier from Wikipedia is here. He is the most experienced of all Malian referees (source).
So, let's look at that experience.
He has apparently worked the USA v. Tajikstan match in the 2007 U-17 World Cup (source), Colombia vs Turkey quarterfinal,and the Colombia v. Spain 3rd place match.
On 31-JAN-2010 he was the referee for the African Cup of Nations where Egypt beat Ghana 1 - 0. See the match report here.
Arguably this is not a complete picture, and there seem to be a bunch of holes that would need to be filled for a complete analysis. It does suffice to say however that the sparseness of the record is a point of note. A referee with a paper trail is far more of a known and may put some folks at ease to see what they are in for, good or bad.
One does not have to be experienced at a particular level to do well in all cases at that level necessarily, and I look forward to a good performance from COULIBALY.
I am sure both teams are as well.