Ricardo Pepi celebrates scoring for the USMNT. (USA TODAY NETWORK)
By Michael Lewis
FC Dallas and U.S. men’s national team forward Ricardo Pepi could be heading to Europe sooner than later.
According to Fabrizio Romano of Milan, Italy, Wolfsburg (Bundesliga) is trying to sign the 18-year-old star.
“There’s still no full agreement with Dallas FC but negotiations are advanced. Work in progress after many clubs showing interest. #MLS” Romano wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Given his ability to fill the net for club and country, there has been plenty of speculation about Pepi joining a new club across the Atlantic Ocean. But that isn’t necessarily on his mind right now.
“I feel like that moment is not yet to be decided,” he said during a Dec. 17 Zoom call with the media. “I feel like I have a game here. I mean, that’s my main focus at the moment. I feel like now we got to focus on the game and whatever happens is going to happen. But we just got to be patient.”
Wolfsburg are pushing to sign Ricardo Pepi. Bundesliga is the most likely destination for the USMT talent, as anticipated today ⤵️🌟 #Wolfsburg
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 26, 2021
While answering another question, Pepi had a similar answer.
“I can’t think about the past, I can’t think about the future,” he said. “I’ve got live in the moment and focus on what’s next and what’s next is a game we have tomorrow. And it’s a very important game for not only us, but for the team.”
Pepi scored 13 goals and added three assists for FC Dallas and has collected three goals in six appearances for the U.S. men’s national team. And that included his first two World Cup qualifying goals in two wins.
“I have had conversations with him,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said on Dec. 17. “I’m really impressed with how he’s handling all this, 18-years-old being the starting striker for the U.S. national team is a big responsibility. With all these rumors going around about clubs and this and that, and he’s handled it really well. He’s focused on getting better each and every day on the training pitch, and using every opportunity on the field to have a good game. I think that bodes well for his future to be able to handle pressure in situations like this.”