EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Ricardo Pepi is striking while the iron is hot. FC Dallas announcing on Tuesday they have signed the El Paso native to a new five-year contract that keeps him with the club through the 2026 season.
Per team policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
“I’m very happy to give my everything to FC Dallas,” said Pepi. “I want to thank the club for having that trust in me. It’s a big step in my career, personally and for my family.”
Pepi, 18, has scored 11 goals and recorded two assists across all competitions for FC Dallas. He was named MLS Player of the Week on Monday after recording his first career hat trick, becoming the youngest player (18 years and 196 days old) in league history to record at least three goals in one match. Pepi has netted eight goals this season, fifth-most in the league.
Pepi signed with FC Dallas as the 26th Homegrown at 16 years and 163 days old on June 21, 2019, making him the fourth youngest player in club history. He is the first true pathway player in the FC Dallas Academy after starting his soccer career in the FC Dallas-El Paso affiliate.
“I feel like it has been paying off ever since my family moved here when I was 13-years-old,” said Pepi. “I just want to give my family everything that I can.”
Pepi first joined the FC Dallas Academy in 2016 from the club’s youth affiliate in El Paso and scored 54 goals in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. He was the first player to sign with North Texas SC in 2018 and helped the team win the inaugural USL League One title in 2019.
“It means a lot and I’m really happy,” said Pepi. “As a kid, I was 3-or-4-years-old dreaming of becoming a professional soccer player. I’m here right now and I’m living the dream. I’m just happy.”
Pepi is eligible for both the U.S. and Mexico National Teams, last appearing in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship where he helped the U.S. reach the final before falling to Mexico in extra time.
- Name: Ricardo Pepi
- Connect with Ricardo Pepi:Twitter | Instagram
- Position: Forward
- No. 16
- Height: 6-1
- Weight: 162 lbs.
- Date of Birth: January 9, 2003 (18)
- Birthplace: El Paso, TX
- Hometown: El Paso, TX
- Nationality: United States
- Transaction: FC Dallas signs forward Ricardo Pepi to a five-year contract through 2026.