5.20 pepi

FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas’ prodigal son returns! For a little while, anyway.

Former FCD Homegrown Ricardo Pepi is back where his professional career started as the 19-year-old FC Augsburg and USMNT forward returned to Toyota Stadium in Frisco for a meet and greet with fans.

It’s been nearly five months since Pepi sealed his record-breaking transfer to the German Bundesliga and the Texan is happy to spend his offseason with friends and family in DFW.

“It’s nice being back after being out of the house for four or five months,” Pepi said after signings autographs and taking photos with fans. "It feels nice to return to my family. It’s amazing honestly.”

Reuniting with his close-knit family in Dallas was understandably a big moment for Pepi. After all, he’s still a teenager living half a world away from all his familiar surroundings. The transition to life in German hasn’t always been easy—on or off the field.

“It’s so much different over there. It took me a month or two just to get used to the culture and get used to the food,” Pepi admitted. “But we’re getting there, and hopefully next season it’ll be even better.

“There’s way more intensity (playing in the Bundesliga). You have no time on the ball and some guys are more physical. But it’s a step I need to break through, and everything will be fine. I just want to get back to doing my thing, scoring goals and grinding.”

With novelty at every turn nowadays, Pepi finds comfort in doing the thing he’s done since he was 12 years old: Watching FC Dallas games.

“Sometimes when we have days off, I stay up to 4 or 5 in the morning watching the games. It’s all for the love of the club.”

Thankfully, Pepi won’t need extra caffeine to watch FC Dallas’ next match. The former Homegrown is attending FCD vs. Minnesota United this Sunday, May 22 and will perform the honorary FCD Shield lighting ahead of kickoff. He'll also join the pregame show on TXA 21 and the FCDTV Network.