Portugal's Pepe to miss US game, Coentrao status in doubt

The US caught a massive break as a result of the Germans’ 4-0 thrashing of Portugal on Monday morning.

Portugal defender Pepe got tangled up with hat-trick-man Thomas Muller around the 37’, and in a moment not all that surprising given the defender’s reputation, he gave Muller a slight headbutt. That act earned Portugal’s best defender a red card, meaning that he will miss the game against the US next Sunday due to suspension.

Not only does it put Portugal’s backline in a bind next Sunday, but it also left them vulnerable to Germany’s attack with more than half the game remaining and only 10 men on the field. It was only 2-0 at that point, and the Germans would add two more, boosting the goal differential that could ultimately come in handy from an American perspective. 

Aside from Pepe, defender Fabio Coentrao was subbed out in the 65’ minute after he overextended his leg trying to keep the ball in play. If he’s out, Portugal may be forced to go two deep on its bench for defenders – an area already with little depth as it was.

Finally, forward Hugo Almeida also left the pitch with an undisclosed injury less than 30 minutes into the game, and his status is uncertain. 

Coupled with the news that Ghana midfielders Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng are each out of the starting lineup for tonight's match, the US has already had itself a very fortunate day. 

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