It was reported on New Years Day that FC Dallas and United States international forward Ricardo Pepi is close to finalizing a deal with the Bundesliga side of FC Augsburg of a club-record transfer that will be worth around $20 million plus add-ons, with 10% sell-on percentage going to Dallas. In any future moves this will make him the most expensive outgoing MLS homegrown player.
The deal is not completely finalized yet, but is in the final stages as Pepi completed his medical on Sunday to make the move official. The 18-year-old forward had 13 goals and three assists in 31 MLS appearances during the 2021 season. He also made his USMNT debut and quickly took over as their preferred striker in Concacaf's Octagonal, with three goals and three assists in six World Cup qualifying matches.
Pepi has a host of awards for an 18-year-old, being named the 2021 MLS Young Player of the Year and US Soccer Young Male Player of the Year, plus he earned the top spot in MLSsoccer.com’s 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR list. He was also named to the MLS All-Star team, where he scored the game-winning penalty kick in the shootout victory over Liga MX's All-Stars.
The MLS transfer mania of the winter is almost over, as reports emerged that other teams such as the likes of Bayern Munich, Ajax, Wolfsburg, and many more were interested in the forward. Augsburg currently sits 15th in the 18-team German Bundesliga, just a point above relegation at the league’s halfway point.
Pepi is the latest in-demand FC Dallas homegrown player after defender Bryan Reynolds (AS Roma), midfielder Tanner Tessmann (Venezia) and defender Reggie Cannon (Boavista) moved to top European leagues in recent transfer windows.
Pepi will look to continue his burgeoning career as a young star, as he has scored 16 goals in 57 league and playoff appearances for Dallas.