American teenager Ricardo Pepi wins club record in Bundesliga | Sportsman | German football and major international sports news | DW
Augsburg moved at the start of the January transfer window, securing the signing of rising American star Ricardo Pepi from Major League Soccer (MLS) club FC Dallas for a fee that could reach $ 20million (17.6million). euros).
The forward, who has scored 15 goals in 55 MLS games since his 2019 debut, turns 19 on January 9 and is considered one of America’s brightest young prospects. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and other Americans to make a name for himself in the Bundesliga.
The guaranteed fees by FC Dallas are the second highest ever collected by an MLS club for a player, with the signing of â¬ 24million ($ 27million) of Miguel Almiron by Newcastle United from Atlanta United, still the MLS record.
Pepi’s international scores are promising, having scored three times in just seven games since making his US debut in September 2021. His brace against Jamaica in World Cup qualifying in October saw him promoted by the Coach Gregg Berhalter has a place in the starting lineup in the next match against Honduras, in which he also scored.
Pepi’s eye for goal and the potential to become an elite striker had alerted other European clubs to his availability, with Wolfsburg, Ajax and Real Madrid also keeping an eye on the El Paso, TX player. . However, a deal has been made with Augsburg which, despite beating Bayern Munich in November, is just one point ahead of Stuttgart, occupying the qualifying spot. With just 17 goals in as many Bundesliga appearances this season, Augsburg is desperate for goals.
Ricardo Pepi is the last American to make it to the Bundesliga to continue his development.
Who is the American investor in Augsburg?
American billionaire David Blitzer, an investor in Augsburg since April 2021, is also believed to have played a role in securing the deal. Blitzer has been a personal friend of Augsburg President Klaus Hofmann for 20 years.
Augsburg has targeted the United States in a bid to expand its appeal across the Atlantic, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has slashed the club’s revenue to the tune of around $ 30.8 million . A planned summer tour of the United States had to be canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, but Pepi’s signing suggests an ongoing commitment to the region.
Pepi could be in contention for his debut on January 8, when Augsburg resumes his campaign with a difficult trip to Hoffenheim, which is fifth and is aiming for a Champions League berth.
Published by: Davis Van Opdorp