LOS ANGELES, CA (KTSM) — It was a night to remember for El Paso’s Ricardo Pepi.
Representing FC Dallas in the 2021 MLS All-Star Game, Pepi converted the game-winning penalty kick to lift the MLS team past the Liga MX All-Stars on Wednesday night. The MLS team won the shootout 3-2 after finishing regulation tied 1-1.
“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, 18, was subbed into the game at the start of the second half, fulfilling a lifelong dream of his of becoming one of the best in the sport.
“I think everything was set up for me to score that last PK,” Pepi said. “I was very confident and the coach gave me the confidence to bang it in so MLS came out on top.”
But his night to remember didn’t end there. According to the broadcast on FS1, Pepi will be on the roster for the United States Men’s National Team World Cup Qualifier.
The El Pasoan became a household name after scoring a hat trick earlier this season against LA Galaxy, the youngest player in MLS history to accomplish the feat. Pepi has scored 12 goals and recorded three assists across all competitions for FC Dallas, including a team-high nine goals this season.
Pepi signed with FC Dallas as the 26th Homegrown in club history at 16 years and 163 days old on June 21, 2019. He is the first true pathway player to start his youth soccer career in the FC Dallas-El Paso affiliate before joining the FC Dallas Academy in 2016, signing with FC Dallas’ USL League One affiliate North Texas SC as their first-ever player signing in 2018, and lastly the senior team.