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R. Pepi

Pepi celebrates USMNT recall with first goal in 345 days

20:22 GMT+3 17/09/2022
Ricardo Pepi USMNT 2021
Ricardo Pepi opened his account in Europe after scoring the opening goal in Groningen's 2-1 defeat to Sparta Rotterdam.
  • Recalled to USMNT on Wednesday
  • Given first start for Groningen
  • Marked it with a headed goal

WHAT HAPPENED? The 19-year-old has endured a tough nine months since leaving FC Dallas for Augsburg at the beginning of the year. He didn't manage a single goal for the German side in 16 appearances in all competitions.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: However, after making the summer move to Groningen, he has already opened his European account. After making his debut from the bench last weekend, he was handed a first start for the club on Saturday.

AND WHAT'S MORE: He took full advantage of that opportunity as his well-placed header put his new side in front just after the hour mark. He was then substituted moments later and Groningen went on to lose the match 2-1.

DID YOU KNOW? As per Opta, Ricardo Pepi is the second player this century to score or assist a goal in each of his first two Eredivisie games for Groningen after Ahmed El Messaoudi in 2019.

WHAT NEXT FOR PEPI: Having scored his first goal in Europe, Pepi has a return to the USMNT to look forward to. He was recalled to the squad for the upcoming games against Japan and Saudi Arabia by Gregg Berhalter and will have his sights set firmly on the World Cup in November and December.