Frisco, Texas (June 21, 2019) – FC Dallas has signed North Texas Soccer Club forward Ricardo Pepi as the league-leading 26th Homegrown Player, the club announced today.
Pepi, 16, recorded his first FC Dallas assist while on a short-term loan for Dallas in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round match against OKC Energy FC on June 12. He is the leading USL League One goal scorer with seven goals in six matches for North Texas SC.
Pepi first joined to the FCD Academy in 2016 from the club’s youth affiliate in his native El Paso. During the 2016-17 Academy season, he appeared in 15 games and scored 18 goals for U-13 Academy team and scored 12 goals in 13 appearances for the U-14 Academy. For the 2017-2018 season, Pepi moved up to the U-16s, where he appeared in 14 games and scored five goals.
Eligible for both the U.S. and Mexico National Teams, he played in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship and helped the U.S. reach the final before falling to Mexico in overtime.
Pepi was the 26th Academy-product signed to a professional contract by the FC Dallas organization and the first to utilize the new USL League One development pathway when he signed with North Texas SC on Dec. 6, 2018. At 16 years and 163 days old, Pepi is the fourth youngest player to sign with FC Dallas behind Bryan Reynolds, Dante Sealy and Jesus Ferreira.