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USMNT

Ricardo Pepi scores his first goal in 345 days

The United States men’s national team striker ended a 30-game goalless streak in Groningen’s 2-1 defeat against Sparta Rotterdam in the Eredivisie.

Update:
LEEUWARDEN - (lr) Ricardo Pepi of FC Groningen, Alex Bangura or SC Cambuur during the Dutch Eredivisie match between SC Cambuur and FC Groningen at the Cambuur Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. ANP COR LASKER (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)
ANPGetty

Ricardo Pepi’s call up to the United States men’s national team for the upcoming FIFA international break was questioned because he hadn’t scored in 345 days. So the 19-year-old decided to celebrate his USMNT call-up by opening his account in Europe on Saturday giving Groningen its only goal of the team’s 2-1 defeat to Sparta Rotterdam in the Eredivisie.

Pepi finally found the back of the net

It took over 11 months, 345 days to be exact, for Ricardo Pepi to end his goalless streak with club and country and this will be a confidence boost in the upcoming friendlies when he joins the USMNT to play. The teenager struggled to adapt and find his rhythm with Augusburg in the Bundesliga last season and couldn’t find the back of the net in 16 appearances.

So the German side decided to give Pepi on loan to Groningen and he is slowly reaching his peak form in the Eredivisie. The USMNT striker made his debut last week coming off the bench and gave his first assist to Tomas Suslov in the 71st minute in Groningen’s 1-0 win over SC Cambuur.

Pepi earned the trust of manager Frank Wormuth and earned his first start against Sparta Rotterdam. The American striker took advantage of the opportunity and in the 61st minute he headed the ball past the goalkeeper to score the first goal of the game. Four minutes later Pepi was taken off the field and Groningen went on to lose 2-1 with Sparta Rotterdam scoring late goals.

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