FRISCO, Texas - It's that time of the year again. It's time to vote for the best MLS players (AKA your favorite MLS players) to take part in the 2021 MLS All-Star game that will see MLS's best take on the best of LIGA MX on August 25 at Banc of California Stadium in LA.
While there are many players deserving of the accolade, here are my five reasons why FC Dallas' leading scorer Ricardo Pepi should be at the top of your All-Star ballot:
Ricardo Pepi is Efficient
Excluding penalties, Ricardo Pepi has the second-best goals per game ratio in MLS. Pepi has 5 goals from his 547 minutes this season (6 starts, 5 sub appearances), meaning he scores .89 goals per 90 minutes. The only player with a better goal per game ratio is Golden Boot leader Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who scores 1.04 goals per 90 minutes (discounting penalties) this season.
Ricardo Pepi is Young
Ricardo Pepi is 18 years old. And he’s currently the 13th leading scorer in the league. The 12 players ahead of him in the goal-scoring charts have an average age of 29.75 years old. Basically, Pepi is way ahead of the goal-scoring curve for his age
Ricardo Pepi is an American
One of the beautiful things about MLS (and soccer in general) is that great players come from all over the world. But there’s something to be said for a player succeeding in their own national league. Currently, Ricardo Pepi is the highest scoring American in MLS. That’s pretty cool. Ya hear that, Gregg?
Ricardo Pepi has Levels
Ricardo Pepi has scored goals at every level. In his final season in the FC Dallas Academy, Pepi scored 19 goals in 8 games for the U-17 side. After signing his first pro contract with North Texas SC, Pepi scored 7 goals in 6 games (including a hat trick on his pro debut) before signing his Homegrown contract with FC Dallas. Internationally, Pepi has 6 goals from 17 caps for the U-17 USMNT. There's no reason Pepi couldn't bring that goal-scoring instinct to the 2021 MLS All-Star game.
Ricardo Pepi is El Trén
Ricardo “The Train” Pepi, Ricardo PEPSI…Ricardo Pepi is among the league’s most meme-able players. See below.