Ricardo Pepi Gets Huge Opportunity with Bundesliga’s FC Augsburg
In six days, Ricardo Pepi will celebrate his 19th birthday, and he will still be two years away from legal drinking age. Not anymore. The El Paso native and soccer phenom will be showcasing his skills in Germany to play for FC Augsburg through 2026. In case you are wondering, the legal drinking age in Germany is 16, so Pepi will be able to enjoy an ice cold pils after every Augsburg win.
There are plenty of winners from Pepi's move to Bundesliga. FC Dallas received $20 million for the young star, an MLS record transfer for a homegrown player. Club president Dan Hunt was happy for Pepi and his family, as he reiterated in the MLS release. "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."
Obviously Pepi will benefit from the transfer, especially going to a club that is on the brink of relegation in Bundesliga. Augsburg is 15th in the standings through 17 matches, and they are just two points in front of Arminia for the final relegation spot.
Pepi will no doubt be thrown into the starting lineup from the get go, and he could provide the spark at the #9 that Augsburg needs in order to stay out of the bottom two clubs in the table.
As for Pepi's future with the U.S. Men's National Team, the move to Germany should continue his development as a goal-scoring striker. The better he performs against top notch competition, the more his skills will help the USMNT as they prepare for the 2022 World Cup.
Finally, if you have never read Roberto José Andrade Franco's profile on Pepi in espn.com, then you should spend the 15-minutes to digest a terrific profile of the El Pasoan. Aaron Jones is currently in his NFL prime at age-27, but the best teenage sports star that El Paso has ever produced belongs to Ricardo Pepi. Now, the best is yet to come.