FRISCO, TX (January 3, 2022) – FC Dallas has reached a transfer agreement with FC Augsburg of Germany’s Bundesliga for Homegrown forward Ricardo Pepi, the team announced today. The move is the largest transfer in FC Dallas history for a player.
“We are proud of what Ricardo Pepi has accomplished during his time in our organization,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. “He truly represents the FC Dallas pathway: coming from our affiliate in El Paso, playing in the Academy, becoming the first signing in the history of North Texas SC and then making his debut with the first team. We’re happy for Ricardo and his family and look forward to watching him realize his dream of playing in one of the most prestigious leagues in the world.”
“An opportunity like this is something I have worked my entire life to accomplish,” said Pepi. “This is truly a dream realized. I understand that I have to keep pushing, training and growing. I am grateful to the FC Dallas organization for helping me achieve this goal. I will always have a special place in my heart for FC Dallas and our amazing fans. Thank you for supporting me. I will continue to make you proud.”
Pepi, who will turn 19 on January 9, was FC Dallas’ leading scorer in 2021 with 13 goals in 31 appearances, including a career-high 24 starts. He scored his first career hat trick against the LA Galaxy on July 24 and netted a brace twice in matches against New England and Austin FC. He earned three MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week honors, was named MLS Player of the Week twice, named to the 2021 MLS All-Star Team and earned MLS Young Player of the Year honors for the 2021 season.
Pepi made his U.S. Men’s National Team debut in 2021 during the September World Cup Qualifier against Honduras. In seven appearances, Pepi netted three goals and three assists. On Dec. 18, 2021, Pepi was voted 2021 U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year.
“This is an important move for FC Dallas, Ricardo and Major League Soccer,” said FC Dallas Technical Director Andre Zanotta. “He represents what is possible in the FC Dallas Academy system and for soccer players in the United States. This transfer shows our commitment to developing talent and helping them achieve their professional goals.”
“While it’s a challenge to lose a player like Pepi, who was one of the most talented players in the league in 2021, it also creates an opportunity for us to reinvest the proceeds from this transfer on players who can make an immediate impact on the field and help us compete at a high level,” said FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estévez.
“This transfer fee allows us to be aggressive in both this transfer window as well as the summer’s,” said Zanotta. “We’re committed to building a championship roster and recognize we have several positions to fill. This move helps us do that.”
FC Dallas Homegrown Ricardo Pepi Career Timeline
- Signs with FC Dallas Academy in 2016, coming from the club’s youth affiliate in El Paso. During the 2016-17 Academy season, he appeared in 15 games and scored 18 goals for U-13 Academy team and scored 12 goals in 13 appearances for the U-14 Academy. While with the U-16s, he appeared in 14 games and scored five goals. He scored a total of 19 goals in eight games for the U-16/17 squad in 2018-19, the nation’s best goals-per-game rate.
- Signs with North Texas SC on December 6, 2018. He makes his North Texas SC debut in the inaugural match for the club on March 30, 2019 and scores his first professional hat trick.
- Signs with FC Dallas on a short-term loan ahead of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match on June 11, 2019. He makes his FC Dallas debut on June 12, 2019 and records his first FC Dallas assist.
- Signs as the 26th Homegrown in FC Dallas history on June 21, 2019 at the age of 16 years and 163 days old. He makes his MLS debut after subbing in the 84th minute against Toronto FC on June 22, 2019.
- Scores his first MLS goal, a game-tying goal in stoppage time, on March 7, 2020 against Montreal at Toyota Stadium.
Full Name: Ricardo Pepi
DOB: January 9, 2003
Hometown: El Paso, Texas
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas
Nationality: United States
Transaction: FC Dallas reaches a permanent transfer agreement with FC Augsburg for forward Ricardo Pepi.