HIGHLIGHTS: FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy | July 24, 2021
Pepi continued his breakout campaign by striking for a trio of lethal finishes in the 27th, 44th and 50th minutes before Jader Obrian added a late insurance tally, delivering Luchi Gonzalez's group all three points. He's now the youngest player in MLS history to record a hat trick, beating a record that was previously held by now-Austin FC forward Kekuta Manneh.
Pepi got FC Dallas on top just shy of the half-hour mark, keeping his stellar run of recent form going with an opener that marked his fourth straight home match with a goal. The 18-year-old forward snuck behind the LA backline and controlled a through ball from Andres Ricaurte, making no mistake with the finish past Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
He then found the brace right on the stroke of halftime, nodding down a Jesus Ferreira corner kick and burying another well-taken strike to the far post, doubling FC Dallas' lead heading into intermission.
Pepi wasted little time completing the hat trick, striking for a third shortly after the restart. It was another class finish from the homegrown product, as he took a feed from Szabolcs Schon and tucked away a perfectly-placed shot into the lower right corner.
FC Dallas cruised from there, although Pepi very nearly added a fourth in the 72nd minute after getting free on a breakaway against Bond and lacing a shot that the LA backstop denied with a diving save. The hosts would get their fourth, however, as Obrian got on a breakaway of his own in the 88th minute and converted his look underneath Bond to seal the 4-0 scoreline.
- THE BIG PICTURE: FC Dallas came into the game at the bottom of the Western Conference table, badly needing a three-point result, both to start collecting as many points as possible and to restore some confidence. Thanks to Pepi, they got a big win that they'll hope is the start of a surge up the table and back into the playoff mix. It's a tough defeat on the other side for a Galaxy team that was admittedly depleted, playing without the injured Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and a handful of international absences. Nonetheless, they would have hoped for a more competitive showing against a struggling opponent.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: All three of Pepi's goals were clinical, but the degree of difficulty on this third one was much higher than he made it look.
GOAL: Ricardo Pepi, FC Dallas - 50th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: This match was all about Pepi, who continues to be a major bright spot this season for FC Dallas. He's up to eight goals through his team's first 14 games, and also made some MLS history with this explosive effort.