Ricardo Pepi Breaks FC Dallas' Winless Streak


Image: FC Dallas Twitter


06/28/21


FC Dallas returned to Toyota Stadium after their midweek away match against L.A FC. The club and fans were disheartened after that 2-0 loss. Despite the match being held in Frisco, Texas, the expections for last night's game were low. The New England Revolution were at the top of the Eastern Conference table. Their captain Carles Gil was leading in assists in Major League Soccer. Their goalkeeper Matt Turner also had three shutouts, making their defense as dangerous as their offense. Dallas did not let the odds deter them though. Several players had an impress game but one stood above the rest. Eighteen year old homegrown forward, Ricardo Pepi emerged as Dallas' leading scorer with a brace that pushed them towards their second win of the season.


El Tren-

Image: FC Dallas Twitter


The star of last night's win was Pepi, or as he's known around the Dallas fanbase "El Tren" (Thanks 3rd Degree for the great nickname!). Pepi quickly became Dallas' leading scorer with four in the season, edging out winger Jader Obrian, who was the leading scorer with two,and designated striker Franco Jara, who many expected to be Dallas' top scorer this year. Pepi's play was miles above that of New England's. Both of his goals showcased a calm nature that is rarely seen in young strikers.


Ricardo Pepi's First Goal-

Early in the game, Jesus Ferreira bounced on a loose ball in the midfield. With one touch, he was able to flick it into open space for Pepi. Pepi, with three defenders surrounding him sprinted toward Turner and slotted it just under him to open the scoring.


The play of Ferreira and another, unidentified Dallas player (it's hard to tell who it was from the video) are the main factors in the first goal. The unnamed Dallas player slid into a New England player, knocking ball loose into the midfield. Ferreira ran toward the loose ball and flick it into the path of Pepi.


Pepi's second goal-


The second goal allowed Pepi show off his individual skills. Ryan Hollingshead passed the ball into the path of Pepi. He then appeared to have nutmegged his defender, dribbling into the box, feint a second defender and slot it past Turner.

Image: FC Dallas Twitter


Justin Che-


Che spent time as a rightback in last night's game, allowing Hollingshead to be employed as a winger. He provided an attacking spark that the club has missed since Bryan Reynold's departure. He nearly helped Pepi earn a hattrick with an impressive cross that made it onto the foot of Pepi.

It's unlikely that Che will finish out the season with Dallas, Bayern Munich are in Frisco scouting him and supposedly another player. If he does stay or ends up getting loaned back after transferring to Europe, then he could be a short term solution to Dallas' rightback problem.


Next Game-


Dallas will look to build on this win as they host their annual Independence Day game against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The match is set to be played on Sunday, July the Fourth at 7:30pm.