Pepi joins the All-Star team as a coach’s pick by All-Star Head Coach Bob Bradley
FRISCO, Texas (August 4, 2021) – Eighteen-year-old FC Dallas Homegrown Ricardo Pepi earned his first MLS All-Star Game invitation today. He was among the 28 players honored as Major League Soccer unveiled the complete roster for the 2021 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. LAFC coach Bob Bradley, who will coach the MLS All-Stars, selected Pepi as a coach’s pick.
“It's an honor to be called up to the All-Star Game,” said Pepi. “I wasn't expecting it because we were watching video and preparing for the next game. It was a special moment from my family, teammates and coaches to surprise me in the locker room. I have made some big steps this season so I'm very excited and I'm happy to go to the All-Star Game.”
Pepi became the youngest player in MLS and FC Dallas history to score a hat trick when he accomplished the feat on July 24, 2021 against the LA Galaxy. Pepi was 18 years and 196 days old at the time, surpassing the MLS record previously set in 2013 by Kekuta Manneh at 18 years and 283 days.
Pepi has scored 11 goals and recorded three assists across all competitions for FC Dallas. Following his hat trick against LA Galaxy on July 24, Ricardo Pepi earned his second MLS Team of the Week honor of the season and was named Player of the Week on July 26.
He signed with FC Dallas as the 26th Homegrown in club history at 16 years and 163 days old on June 21, 2019. He is the first true pathway player to start his youth soccer career in the FC Dallas-El Paso affiliate before joining the FC Dallas Academy in 2016, signing with FC Dallas’ USL League One affiliate North Texas SC as their first-ever player signing in 2018, and lastly the senior team.
The roster was determined through a combination of fan, player and media voting (13 players), designations by All-Star Head Coach Bob Bradley (13 players) and a pair of selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. The Commissioner’s Picks for 2021 are Tajon Buchanan from New England Revolution and Cade Cowell from San Jose Earthquakes. Of the 28 players named, 24 are first-time MLS All-Stars.
Fifteen clubs are represented on this year’s All-Star Game roster: Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Minnesota United FC, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC and Sporting Kansas City. The players have ties to 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, El Salvador, Hungary, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Spain, United States, Uruguay.
The history-making match against the best of LIGA MX will take place on August 25 at 8 p.m. CT at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on FS1, Univision, TSN and TVA Sports. Tickets are available at MLSsoccer.com/AllStar21. The announcement comes on the heels of the U.S. Men’s National Team defeating the Mexico National Team in the Concacaf Gold Cup Final 1-0 with the game-winning tally coming from Robinson in extra time in the 117th minute.
Ricardo Pepi Surprised with 2021 MLS All-Star Announcement