American talent arrives in Augsburg
FC Augsburg have made a statement after adding Ricardo Pepi to their ranks, with several European clubs in the race to sign the youngster. The 18-year-old is seen as a budding American talent, and will soon be representing FCA. Read on for an in-depth look at our newest signing.
Last season, Pepi scored 13 goals in 31 appearances for FC Dallas in Major League Soccer (MLS). He has already debuted for the US senior men's national team, scoring three goals and registering three assists in seven games. Pepi has also been named the MLS Young Player of the Year and received an MLS All-Star nod, as well as breaking several records as the youngest player to score a hat-trick in MLS history, and the most goals by a teenager in MLS.
Pepi joined the Dallas academy at the age of 13, and went on to score 55 goals in 49 games at youth level. He made his debut for North Texas SC, an affiliate of FC Dallas, in early 2019. The club were only founded in 2018, with Pepi scoring a hat-trick on his USL League One debut. In summer 2019, he then joined parent club Dallas.
He made his MLS debut in June 2019, coming off the bench in the 84th minute against Toronto FC. Pepi opened the scoring for Dallas with his first goal for the club in his first play-off game against the Portland Timbers. His first MLS goal would come in March 2020 against Montreal. A bench player in the beginning of the season, Pepi began to earn regular playing time as the season progressed. His 10 goals in 15 games saw him later named to the MLS All-Star team.
Pepi's first call up to the USMNT soon followed, and once again, he didn't need long to notch his first goal. He scored once and set up two more goals on his debut against Honduras, before scoring a brace in a 2-0 win against Jamaica in his next game.
"I have been working my whole life for an opportunity like this. This is a dream come true for me," Pepi said about the move to FC Augsburg. "I came up through the ranks in Dallas, from the academy to the reserves and then making my debut for FC Dallas. I always wanted to be a professional footballer, and I worked hard to achieve it. If you really want something, then you can make it happen," he said. "It was my dream to move to Europe after last season. FC Augsburg and the Bundesliga are the perfect place for young players to gain playing time at the highest level."