Ricardo Pepi on choosing the United States over Mexico: ‘I made the right decision’

Ricardo Pepi sat down with his family to discuss an important decision: to represent USA or Mexico.

“I put everything on the table for them,” he recalled Tuesday. “I talked about what it would be like to go out and face Mexico. We talked about how special it would be and how motivating it would be for me. “

In August, Pepi leaned by USA, where he grew up, and not because of him Tri, your parents’ country selection. The 18-year-old forward emerged as one of soccer’s great promises, scoring three goals in his first two international games.

Pepi celebrating a goal for the United States

“So far, I think I have made the right decision. The United States Federation He has always been there to support me, since I was 13 or 14 years old. They have given me the opportunity to be where I am today. I think it was the best decision “

Pepi will face for the first time Mexico in the qualifiers of the world Cup when the two bitter rivals of the CONCACAF meet on Friday in Cincinnati in the new TQL stage.

At your international baptism, Pepi scored the goal that gave the United States the lead to an away win against Honduras. He scored a double in last month’s home win against Jamaica.

Pepien action with the United States

He debuted at 16 with North Texas, in March 2019, and played his first match of the MLS in June. Pepi scored 13 goals in 31 games this season, to be the top scorer in the Dallas fc and 12th in the American league.

Pepi is the only born forward, in the position of nine, to face Mexico and then against Jamaica next Tuesday. Berhalter did not quote Josh sargent, Jordan pefok, Daryl Dike and Matthew hope.

“We want dynamism in the area,” he said Berhalter. “We see Richard playing a lot of minutes in both games. “

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Pepi remembers watching the games between Mexico and USA with his family when he was 10 or 11 years old. He hopes that at least 10 members of his family and friends are close and he will keep his ties to both countries in mind when the national anthems are played. “They are going to give me the creeps,” he said.

It is the same situation that they lived David Ochoa, goalkeeper of the Real Salt lake, and Julian Araujo, side of LA Galaxy. Both played for the selection of USA before switching to represent Mexico.

“You have to follow your own path and make the decision listening to your heart,” he said. Pepi. “It seemed very important to me to be able to have a connection with the national team that you represent. It was just following what the heart dictates ”.

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