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The U.S. won't need to worry about facing the European nation's star center back after he was sent off early on against Germany.

However docile Portugal appeared in the first half hour of its World Cup opener against Germany, its squad against the United States will be substantially weakened.

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Star center back Pepe, a key member of Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League-winning team, received a straight red card in the Germany game for a confrontation with German forward Thomas Muller in the 38th minute.

The two had collided and Pepe leaned over to head-butt Muller while he was sitting on the ground. Muller later scored a left-footed goal through the heart of the Portugal defense to make it 3-0, and added the fourth for Germany late on.

FIFA rules mandate a one-game suspension for a red-card. The U.S game against Portugal is Sunday in Manaus.

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