Ricardo Pepi scores and makes case to lead USMNT attack at World Cup
The United States international scored his second goal of the season for Groningen following his participation with the USMNT during the international window.
Ricardo Pepi is officially back! The United States men’s national team striker scored his second consecutive goal of the season in Groningen’s 4-1 defeat against AZ Alkmaar on Saturday. The 19-year-old has tallied two goals and one assist in three appearances since arriving in Eredivisie on loan from Bundesliga side Augsburg in the summer.
Pepi received a long pass from defender Nereysho Kasanwirjo and as he entered the box he bodied up AZ Alkmaar’s Sam Beukema. Both players fell down, but Pepi managed to spin and shoot from close range to beat AZ goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst to make it 2-1. The World Cup hopeful made his second start of the season and was replaced in the 81st minute by Ramon Pascal Lundqvist.
Pepi making a case for himself
The FC Dallas product has been under pressure over his lack of goals in the past year for club and country. He had a disappointing season with Augsburg and the Bundesliga side decided to send him on loan to Groningen during the summer so he could continue his adaptation to Europe’s style of playing.
Pepi was putting in jeopardy his call up to the United States men’s national team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but it seems that he has left all the negative performances behind. The teenager is the clear favorite to lead the attack in Qatar in November, and if he keeps up his performances, he can expect to get the nod from USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter.