Ricardo Pepi preaches patience on European future: "That time will come"

While fans foreign and domestic are curious about Ricardo Pepi's future, namely when he might leap from FC Dallas to a European club, the 18-year-old homegrown forward is focused on MLS play for now.

"Whenever that decision comes, thinking about the future and Europe, that time will come. But right now I am focused on the moment and FC Dallas and the next few games," Pepi told Luis Miguel Echegaray, host of CBS Sports' Que Golazo! podcast.

The rising US international, who burst onto the Concacaf scene in September's World Cup Qualifiers, trained with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich this past winter, benefiting from the relationship the two clubs share. He's also been heavily linked to Serie A sides, according to renowned transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano.

Even though a move doesn't seem imminent, Pepi is still dreaming of big things. And he often looks to two players in Germany's top-flight for inspiration.

"There are players like Robert [Lewandowski] and Erling Haaland I compare my game to," he noted. "I like to watch their movements and do some video on them and like to prepare myself for them, so Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world and I like to compare myself to him. A lot."

During his breakout season, Pepi has 12 goals and three assists in 24 games (19 starts) so far. He's the top domestic goalscorer in MLS and sits seventh in the Golden Boot presented by Audi race heading into Week 27.

Now, it's about continuing this form and building off his star USMNT showing against Honduras. In October, head coach Gregg Berhalter's team will travel to Panama and host both Costa Rica and Jamaica.

"I feel like I am really prepared for the moment and I'm ready for whatever comes ... and I am going to take it all," Pepi said of potential next steps.

For more from Pepi, check out the full CBS Sports story here.