FRISCO, Texas - Homegrown forward Ricardo Pepi will represent FC Dallas at this year's MLS All-Star game beginning on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 8:30PM CT on FS1. For the very first time, the MLS All-Star team will take on the All-Stars of Liga MX at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.
Also for the first time, FC Dallas will have a representative in the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge. Pepi will compete alongside fellow MLS standouts Diego Rossi, Raul Ruidiaz, Nani and more in five different skills competitions on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 8PM on FS1.
Ricardo Pepi Blog
Day 3 – Matchday
After we lost to LigaMX in Tuesday’s Skills Challenge I felt like the team was motivated to get that win in the All-Star Game. I knew I wasn’t going to start but I didn’t have any idea when I was going to come into the game.
I was on the bench watching the first half and I really wanted to get in there, especially because we were down 1-0 at halftime. At halftime, Bob Bradley didn't really talk to us too much. He said everything he had to say earlier in the day. He just reminded us that we have to go out there and have some fun.
When I got into the game in the second half, it was a great feeling. It was great to be out there, have some fun and get some minutes in.
The game ended 1-1 at the end of regulation. When it went to penalty kicks, I really wanted that opportunity. I feel like people are made for big moments. I've had some big moments and I've capitalized on them.
I thought Nani was going to score the game winner. When he missed it, they scored it. It was an All-Star Game but it was tense out there. When it was my turn, I feel like that opportunity was meant for me to score that goal.
This game was important. It showed that the league and the United States are growing soccer-wise. We're developing a lot of talent and we’re growing as a soccer base.
This week was amazing. Getting to compete on that stage with players from all over the league was special. I hope I get the chance to do it again.
On Tuesday, we had our first training session at LAFC’s training grounds. It’s amazing I get to share the field with some of these guys. You get to play against them and now you’re with them, so it feels nice.
I was excited to meet Rodolfo Pizzaro. We had some conversations during the Media Day and today, so that was great.
Tonight we competed against LigaMX in the MLS All-Star Game Skills Challenge. I was the youngest player representing MLS. I was only supposed to participate in two of the challenges but some players were feeling something so I participated in four of them. It was fun.
The Touch Challenge was the first one I did. I waited for about five minutes on the field while they were in the commercial break on the broadcast. It was wild just standing there.
That one was hard but I really enjoyed the Cross and & Volley Challenge where I helped MLS win that round along with Seattle’s Raul Ruidiaz. I had the goal for the win and we had to win that round, so it felt great.
It was close at the end after five challenges. We had a chance to win the Skills Challenge with the final event – the Crossbar Challenge. We had to hit the crossbar from midfield for the victory. That was a tough one. I feel like I was close two or three times.
Overall, it was a great experience. I didn't really expect it to be this hard, I felt like the challenges were high-level challenges but it was fun.
Our first day in Los Angeles for the All-Star game was great. It’s nice to be here with these guys.
We had a Media Day at Banc of California Stadium with all the MLS All-Star players. I did interviews with many media outlets in both Spanish and English with Bleacher Report, SiriusXM FC, MLS ExtraTime, ESPN and IMG.
The main question I was asked: “How does it feel to be the youngest player to score a hat trick?”
Obviously, I am proud to be the youngest player in MLS history to do that but there’s so much more I want to accomplish in my career!
Monday was pretty relaxed. We had a team dinner at the restaurant on top of our hotel. It’s 73 floors above the ground overlooking downtown Los Angeles. That was a scary experience being up that high. I tried to go to the edge and look over but once I was there, I couldn’t do it.
Everything has been what I’ve expected. It has really been great.
Pepi joins the All-Stars as one of 13 players chosen by the All-Stars' head coach Bob Bradley.
Here's the breakdown of how the MLS All-Star team was assembled:
- 13 players determined by a combined vote of fan, media and players
- 13 players selected by All-Star Head Coach Bob Bradley (LAFC)
- 2 players selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber
- Players, fans and reporters cast their votes for 11 players. The top player in each position from the combined vote was named an All-Star
- The 12th and 13th players voted in were the next-highest amount of votes overall (fans, media and players)
ALL-TIME FC DALLAS ALL-STAR REPRESENTATIVES
2019: Matt Hedges, Paxton Pomykal
2018: Matt Hedges
2017: Hernan Grana, Matt Hedges, Kellyn Acosta
2016: Mauro Diaz, Kellyn Acosta
2015: Fabian Castillo
2013: Raul Fernandez, George John
2012: Brek Shea
2011: Brek Shea
2010: David Ferreira, Heath Pearce
2008: Kenny Cooper, Juan Toja
2007: Juan Toja
2006: Richard Mulrooney, Ronnie O’Brien, Dario Sala, Carlos Ruiz, Greg Vanney
2005: Ronnie O’Brien, Greg Vanney, Simo Valakari, Scott Garlick, Carlos Ruiz, Eddie Johnson, Colin Clarke
2004: Cory Gibbs, Ronnie O’Brien, Jason Kreis
2003: Jason Kreis
2002: Chad Deering, Ryan Suarez, Jason Kreis, Joselito Vaca
2001: Chad Deering, Ariel Graziani, Jason Kreis, Lubos Kubik
2000: Jason Kreis, Ariel Graziani
1999: Matt Jordan, Jason Kreis, Leonel Alvarez
1997: Damian, Mark Dodd, Diego Sonora, Alain Sutter, Dante Washington, Mark Santel
1996: Diego Sonora, Mark Santel, Mark Dodd, Jason Kreis, Leonel Alvarez