US forward Pepi makes Bundesliga debut for Augsburg – KXAN Austin


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New US Augsburg striker Ricardo Pepi, left, is replaced during the Bundesliga soccer match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Augsburg in Sinsheim, Germany on Saturday January 8, 2022 (Uwe Anspach / dpa via AP)

SINSHEIM, Germany (AP) – US forward Ricardo Pepi made his Bundesliga debut for Augsburg in a 3-1 loss at Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Pepi, 18, who joined Augsburg from Dallas from Major League Soccer on Monday, came on in the 60th minute with his new team already down 2-1.

Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl introduced Florian Niederlechner along with Pepi, and both forwards immediately gave the visitors a boost. Pepi sent Niederlechner late in the game, but his teammate’s cross was cleared before the offside flag was raised.

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeneß responded with two defensive changes as his side responded with counterattacks. Hoffenheim defender David Raum finally settled the problem in added time.

Augsburg fell into the relegation zone with the loss.

“We had a few chances to come away with at least one point, but our opponents also played well,” said Pepi, as quoted by Augsburg. “The half hour of play that I got did me good. I have a good feeling for the team and for the league too. The team and everyone at the club made me feel welcome.

Augsburg has reportedly agreed to pay more than € 13million ($ 14.8million) plus potential add-ons for Pepi, which would be the highest amount for a transfer from a local US player to MLS. He has signed a 4 1/2 seasons contract which includes an option to extend until the 2026-2027 season with the German club.

Pepi made his MLS debut in 2019. He scored 13 goals in 31 league games for Dallas last season.

Pepi made his United States debut in September and scored three goals in seven international matches.

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