World Cup: Argentine referee Nestor Pitana to officiate USMNT game against Portugal
Nestor Pitana has been assigned to officiate the US national team's World Cup match against Portugal on Sunday (6 pm ET, ESPN/Univision).
USA-Portugal will be Pitana's second game of the tournament. He was the man in the middle on Tuesday for the 1-1 draw between Russia and South Korea.
The Argentine is not afraid to hand out yellow and red cards, so Sunday's match could feature a number of bookings and possibly even an ejection or two:
— Alexander Abnos (@AnAbnos) June 20, 2014
However, it should be noted that Pitana's rate of handing out yellow and red cards in the Argentine Primera is not necessarily specific to the referee. During the final two weeks of the 2014 Torneo Final in Argentina, an average of 5.2 yellow cards per game and 0.5 red cards were assessed (in contrast, so far this MLS season, the averages are 3.42 yellows and 0.32 red cards per game).
A regular in CONMEBOL's Copa Libertadores, Pitana officiated four World Cup qualifying matches in 2012-13 and did not issue a red card.
No US players picked up a yellow card in their first Group G game against Ghana on Monday, and as a result none are at risk of picking up a yellow-card suspension ahead of the group-stage finale against Germany.
For his part, Pitana appears to be excited by the appointment:
What an excitement! I have been assigned the match of Portugal vs USA, a match of high level and skill! I hope i can be up to the challenge.
— Nestor Pitana (@NestorPitana) June 20, 2014