18-year-old MLS All-Star adds another honor to his illustrious 2021 season

Ricardo Pepi available to media today at 2 p.m. ET.
CLICK HERE to register.

YP_PEPI-16x9

NEW YORK(Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021) – Major League Soccer today announced FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi as the 2021 MLS Young Player of the Year after the 18-year-old burst onto the scene with breakout campaigns for both club and country.

A product of the prolific FC Dallas Academy, Pepi led FC Dallas with 13 goals and three assists this season. Pepi’s standout performances included his first MLS hat trick at 18 years and 196 days old, the youngest player to score a hat trick in MLS history, as well as a pair of braces, against the Supporters’ Shield winners New England Revolution on June 27 and against in-state rival Austin FC on Aug. 29. In addition, Pepi’s 13 goals this season ties the all-time single-season MLS record for most goals scored by a teenager as he became only the second teenager to score 10 or more goals in a single season.

In addition to his record-setting regular season, Pepi earned two MLS Player of the Week honors and was named to the 2021 MLS All-Star team, in which he scored the game-winning penalty kick, clinching an MLS All-Stars victory over the LIGA MX All-Stars, 3-2 on penalties.

Building on his success for FC Dallas, the El Paso native earned multiple call-ups to the U.S. Men’s National Team for Concacaf World Cup Qualifying, notching the go-ahead goal and dishing out two assists against Honduras on Sept. 8 in his debut, and recording a brace against Jamaica on Oct. 7.

  • Ricardo Pepi will be available to media today at 2 p.m. ET. Please CLICK HERE to register for the press conference.
  • CLICK HERE for photos and highlights from Ricardo Pepi’s 2021 MLS season

The Young Player of the Year award honors the top player in the league age 22 and under. Players born on, or before, Jan. 1, 1999 were eligible for selection.

The Young Player of the Year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results, with Pepi edging out Supporters’ Shield winner and New England Revolution’s Tajon Buchanan.

Voting Results
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PLAYER
CLUB
MEDIA
TOTAL
Pepi, Ricardo (DAL)
22.90%
36.40%
59.10%
39.47%
Buchanan, Tajon (NE)
31.30%
42.40%
19.70%
31.13%
Julian Araujo (LA)
3.10%
3.00%
3.40%
3.17%
Dike, Daryl (ORL)
3.60%
3.00%
1.00%
2.53%
Barco, Ezequiel (ATL)
3.60%
0.00%
3.40%
2.33%

MLS Young Player of the Year / Rookie of the Year Winners

Young Player of the Year

  • 2021: Ricardo Pepi – FC Dallas
  • 2020: Diego Rossi – Los Angeles Football Club

Rookie of the Year

  • 2019: Andre Shinyashiki – Colorado Rapids
  • 2018: Corey Baird – Real Salt Lake
  • 2017: Julian Gressel – Atlanta United
  • 2016: Jordan Morris – Seattle Sounders FC
  • 2015: Cyle Larin – Orlando City SC
  • 2014: Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas
  • 2013: Dillon Powers – Colorado Rapids
  • 2012: Austin Berry – Chicago Fire
  • 2011: C.J. Sapong – Sporting Kansas City
  • 2010: Andy Najar – D.C. United
  • 2009: Omar Gonzalez – LA Galaxy
  • 2008: Sean Franklin – LA Galaxy
  • 2007: Maurice Edu – Toronto FC
  • 2006: Jonathan Bornstein – Chivas USA
  • 2005: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution
  • 2004: Clint Dempsey – New England Revolution
  • 2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire
  • 2002: Kyle Martino – Columbus Crew
  • 2001: Rodrigo Faria – MetroStars
  • 2000: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire
  • 1999: Jay Heaps – Miami Fusion
  • 1998: Ben Olsen – D.C. United
  • 1997: Mike Duhaney – Tampa Bay Mutiny
  • 1996: Steve Ralston – Tampa Bay Mutiny