FRISCO, Texas - In the latest chapter of Ricardo Pepi's meteoric rise, the 18-year-old FC Dallas Homegrown scored the game-winning penalty as the MLS All-Stars took down the Liga MX All-Stars Wednesday night at Banc of California Stadium.
"I feel like I'm having a great season, I've been putting a lot of work in with my team back home," Pepi told FOX Sports after the game. "Now I come here and score the game-winning PK, I feel like everything's going good and I want to keep working hard."
Pepi entered the game at the start of the second half with MLS trailing 1-0 thanks to Jonathan Rodriguez's 20th-minute goal. The MLS All-Stars equalized eight minutes after the break when LAFC's Jesús Murrillo headed home from Eduard Atuesta's corner kick.
Pepi's first major involvement came when he picked up the ball in Liga MX's half and let fly an ambitious long-range effort that forced goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán to parry it back into the danger area. The El Paso native had another chance just seconds afterward when RSL's Damir Kreilach cushioned the ball into his path but Pepi's shot on the turn sailed over the bar.
Although he wasn't able to make his mark in the first 90 minutes, Pepi made up for it in the penalty shootout. With the scores tied at two apiece, Pepi stepped up and rattled his penalty off the bottom of the crossbar and across the goal line to give the MLS All-Stars their first win since 2015.
As he keeps showing over his young career, Pepi is always the man for the big occasion.
"I think everything was set up for me to score that last PK," he said. "I was very confident and the coach gave me the confidence to bang it in so MLS came out on top."