The international presence of U.S. Soccer’s referees only started to gain some traction in the mid- to late-1980s. Even then, the program’s impact was still very much in its infancy.
One referee who helped gain international attention during that decade and into the next was Italian-American Vincent Mauro. He moved into the officiating realm in 1975, and 15 years later he was best remembered for being a head official during the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Coincidentally, the Pratola Serra, Italy, native earned the chance-of-a-lifetime moment back in his home country. ...
See the whole story here, courtesy of US Soccer.
Kicking Back Comments: I have had the extraordinary pleasure to work with Vinnie on several occasions. One most memorable was just before his departure to the 1990 World Cup, where I ran his line. It was a match I will never forget - ever.
One area that is at times overlooked is that in this era of refereeing (e.g. circa 1990) there were only FIFA referees, no FIFA ARs. Generally speaking, referees at that level only held a whistle, and were generally less practiced at running a line as they were used for their experience as referees.
Vinnie distinguished himself as one of the very best ARs at the tournament (IMHO) and was the mark of a clear demonstration that the US had some of the very best ARs in the world. A tradition I believe that started with him on the international stage.
A true legend in refereeing that US Soccer is lucky to have as a resource.