TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer
UPDATE: Jan. 3, 9 am ET – FC Dallas have transferred homegrown and US men's national team forward Ricardo Pepi to German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg, it was announced Monday morning.
The 18-year-old joins through June 2026 with an additional option year, all via a reported $20 million fee plus add-ons. That makes Pepi the most expensive outgoing homegrown player from Major League Soccer, at least upfront, after Vancouver Whitecaps FC transferred Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich in 2018.
The move constitutes a club-record transfer for FC Dallas.
“We are proud of what Ricardo Pepi has accomplished during his time in our organization,” FC Dallas president Dan Hunt said in a release. “He truly represents the FC Dallas pathway: coming from our affiliate in El Paso, playing in the Academy, becoming the first signing in the history of North Texas SC and then making his debut with the first team. We’re happy for Ricardo and his family and look forward to watching him realize his dream of playing in one of the most prestigious leagues in the world.”
“An opportunity like this is something I have worked my entire life to accomplish,” said Pepi. “This is truly a dream realized. I understand that I have to keep pushing, training and growing. I am grateful to the FC Dallas organization for helping me achieve this goal. I will always have a special place in my heart for FC Dallas and our amazing fans. Thank you for supporting me. I will continue to make you proud.”
ORIGINAL: Jan. 1, 7 pm ET – FC Dallas and German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg are finalizing a club-record transfer for US men's national team forward Ricardo Pepi, sources confirmed to MLSsoccer.com.
The deal will be worth around $20 million plus add-ons, making him the most expensive outgoing MLS homegrown player – at least upfront – after Vancouver Whitecaps FC transferred Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich in 2018.
The deal is not completely done, but is in the final stages. Pepi is en route to Germany to complete his medical on Sunday and make the move official.
Fabrizio Romano and Chris Smith first reported the news.
The 18-year-old forward had 13 goals and three assists in 31 MLS appearances during the 2021 season. He also made his USMNT debut and quickly took over as their preferred striker in Concacaf's Octagonal, with three goals and three assists in six World Cup qualifying matches.
Pepi was named 2021 MLS Young Player of the Year and US Soccer Young Male Player of the Year, plus earned the top spot in MLSsoccer.com’s 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR list. He was also named to the MLS All-Star team, where he scored the game-winning penalty kick in the shootout victory over Liga MX's All-Stars.
MLS Young Player of the Year - Ricardo Pepi
The MLS transfer saga of the winter is almost over. Reports emerged in the fall that numerous teams were interested in the forward, including the likes of Bayern Munich, Ajax, Wolfsburg and many more.
Last week, Wolfsburg looked to be atop the chase, but no deal was agreed upon. English Premier League clubs pushed for his services, too.
Augsburg sit 15th in the 18-team German Bundesliga, just a point above relegation at the league’s halfway point.
Pepi is the latest in-demand FC Dallas homegrown player after defender Bryan Reynolds (AS Roma), midfielder Tanner Tessmann (Venezia) and defender Reggie Cannon (Boavista) moved to top European leagues in recent transfer windows.