Longtime FIFA and Concacaf match commissioner and National Hall of Famer, Dr. Joe Machnik lends insight and expertise, interpreting rules and dissecting officiating decisions for FOX Sports’ soccer coverage. He contributes to the brand’s elite portfolio of soccer properties including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, U.S. Men’s National Team and No. 1 FIFA-ranked U.S. Women’s National Team, Major League Soccer, UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, CONCACAF Gold Cups, Copa America, FIFA Confederation Cups, and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Canada.
LAWS OF THE GAME
Machnik was a U.S. Soccer National Referee when hired by the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL 1977) as Referee in Chief and Director of Operations, a role he held for five years, officiating hundreds of MISL games. In 1996, Machnik was hired by Major League Soccer (MLS) as Vice President of Game Operations and Director of the Office of Officiating Services. He retired from MLS after 15 years of service. Machnik’s impressive resume includes serving as a National Referee for the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) and officiating the 1988 NCAA Final between Indiana and Howard. NISOA inducted Dr. Machnik into its Hall of Fame in 2003 and honored him with the prestigious Dr. Ray Bernabei Award in 2017.
In 2003 Machnik attended his first FIFA Match Commissioner’s Course and has served as Match Commissioner at over thirty 30 international competitions.
Machnik was an Honorable All-America goalkeeper (1962) at Long Island University where he later coached the Blackbirds into the NCAA 1966 National Championship game at the age of 23. Machnik has had a 30-year affiliation with the University of New Haven where he served as men’s and women’s soccer Coach, Director of Athletics and Associate Professor in the School of Business, Department of Sport Management. His UNH teams participated in the 1976 NCAA Division II Final and 1977 Semifinal. He is believed to be the only person to play in the NCAA Soccer Tournament, Coach in three NCAA Finals and referee a NCAA Championship.
In 1977, Machnik started the first national soccer camp for goalkeepers, an organization still noteworthy as No.1 Soccer Camps, with an alumni base of more than 80,000 graduates.
Machnik served as assistant coach of the Bronze Medal USA Five-A-Side team in 1989 and the 1990 Word Cup team which qualified for the Final Competition for the first time in 40 years.
Machnik has been named to multiple Hall of Fames including Long Island University, University of New Haven Athletic, Connecticut Soccer and New England Soccer. He was additionally honored for his contributions to New York City Soccer at the 2014 New York City Soccer Gala and received the Lifetime Achievement Award (2003) from the Walt Chyzowych Fund.
In 1973, Machnik earned a Ph.D from the University of Utah in the field of Recreation/Leisure Studies.
In 2017, U.S. Soccer inducted Machnik into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as a “Builder” for his contributions to the game.
Machnik resides on the Isle of Palms outside of Charleston, S.C., with his wife Barbara.