2021 Season

FC Dallas Homegrown Ricardo Pepi Announced as Finalist in MLS 2021 Year-End Awards

11.15 Pepi Young Player DL

FRISCO, Texas (November 15, 2021) –FC Dallas Homegrown Ricardo Pepi is a finalist for the MLS Young Player of the Year, which recognizes the best player under the age of 22. Major League Soccer announced today all the finalists for the 2021 MLS Year-End Awards, honoring the top performers on and off the field during the regular season. The winners will be announced over the next few weeks. 

Pepi, 18, scored 13 goals and recorded three assists during his 2021 season with FC Dallas. He tied Diego Fagundez’s 2013 record for most goals scored as a teenager and is only the second teenager to score in double digits in a single season. His 16 goals overall are the third-most of any MLS player as a teenager. 

Pepi became the youngest player in MLS and FC Dallas history at 18 years and 196 days old to score a hat trick when he scored three goals in the 4-1 win again st the LA Galaxy on July 24, 2021. Pepi participated in his first MLS All-Star Game in August 2021 and scored the game-winning penalty for MLS to beat LIGA MX 3-2 in penalties following a 1-1 draw in regulation. He also participated in the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge a day prior and won the Cross and Volley Challenge for MLS.

With the spread of finalists recognizing players from 15 MLS clubs, the wealth of talent features more teams with finalists than in any of the last four years. Pepi is in the chase for the Young Player of the Year Award alongside LA Galaxy’s Julián Araujo and New England Revolution star Tajon Buchanan as MLS continues to showcase young dynamic players on the rise.

The finalists (in alphabetical order) which follow below earned the most votes in polling among three voting groups:

  • Current MLS players.
  • MLS club technical staffs (coaches, technical directors/GMs).
  • Select group of media members.

2021 Major League Soccer Award Finalists

Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists

  • Valentín Castellanos (New York City FC)
  • Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
  • Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC)
  • João Paulo (Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City)

Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Finalists

  • Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
  • Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
  • Joe Willis (Nashville SC)

Defender of the Year Finalists

  • Yeimar Gómez (Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
  • Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Newcomer of the Year Finalists

For this award, “newcomer” is defined as a player who made his MLS debut in 2021.

  • Cristian ‘Chicho’ Arango (Los Angeles Football Club)
  • Ryan Gauld (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
  • Eduardo ‘Chofis’ López (San Jose Earthquakes)

MLS Young Player of the Year Finalists

For this award, “young player” is defined as a player under age 22 (born on or after Jan. 1, 1999).

  • Julián Araujo (LA Galaxy)
  • Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution)
  • Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)

Comeback Player of the Year Finalists

Honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the 2021 regular season.

  • Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
  • Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández (LA Galaxy)
  • Dániel Sallói (Sporting Kansas City)

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year Finalists

  • Julián Araujo (LA Galaxy)
  • Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)
  • Brad Stuver (Austin FC)

Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year Finalists

  • Bruce Arena (New England Revolution)
  • Robin Fraser (Colorado Rapids)
  • Brian Schmetzer (Seattle Sounders FC)

Referee of the Year Finalists

  • Jair Marrufo
  • Robert Sibiga
  • Armando Villarreal

Assistant Referee of the Year Finalists

  • Frank Anderson
  • Ian Anderson
  • Cory Richardson