Ricardo Pepi is ready to set the Bundesliga alight with the 18-year-old USMNT international forward agreeing to join Augsburg on a four-and-a-half-year deal from MLS side FC Dallas.
The Texan striker arrives at the WWK Arena with a booming reputation after his 13 goals in 31 MLS appearances in 2021 led to him being named the league's Young Player of the Year.
Pepi - who had a trial at Bayern Munich last year - has also been on fire on the international scene since making a goalscoring USMNT debut against Honduras back in September. In an awesome Stars and Stripes career to date, the young forward has racked up three goals and three assists in just seven senior appearances.
"Moving to Europe after the conclusion of the MLS season was my dream," Pepi said on the Bavarian club's website. "I believe FC Augsburg and the Bundesliga will prove the perfect settings for me to gain match practice at the top level as a youngster. The efforts the FCA club officials put in to sign me were really impressive. As a result, I felt right away that FCA was the right club for me. I can’t wait to meet my new teammates and I want to integrate into the team as quickly as possible. I can hardly wait to get going!"
The youngest player in MLS history ever to score a hat-trick, Pepi's impressive achievements also include a dramatic appearance for the MLS All-Stars, when he netted the key penalty in a shootout victory against the Liga MX All-Stars last summer. He finished the 2021 season as the leading American goalscorer in the MLS following his 31 appearances for FC Dallas. In all, the striker has netted 15 goals and four assists in 55 games since his MLS debut as a 16-year-old in 2019.
"We're delighted that Ricardo has chosen Augsburg, despite the interest of a number of top clubs," said Augsburg's sporting director Stefan Reuter after the ink dried on a contract through to 30 June 2026, which includes an option for an extension to 2027. "We've managed to show him a clear pathway for his further development, and that convinced him. We're certain that he's going to develop even further here and we're all going to have a lot of joy together in the years to come."
Pepi's move to Augsburg will offer Markus Weinzierl's team a much-needed lift and some sought-after firepower going into the second-half of the season. The Bavarians are currently 15th in the standings and will look to hit the ground running against high-flying Hoffenheim - who boast their own Dallas graduate in on-loan defender Chris Richards - when the Bundesliga resumes this weekend.
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