FC Dallas prospect Ricardo Pepi scores for US U-17s in win over Turkey

The US U-17 national team notched their first victory of the 2018 International Friendlies on Friday in Bradenton, Florida, seeing out a 1-0 win over Turkey after a goal from FC Dallas academy striker Ricardo Pepi in first-half stoppage time.

A marauding midfield run from New York City FC academy product Giovanni Reyna drew in Turkey defenders and set up Pepi beautifully for an open look at goal from 22 yards out. The Texan took a touch and found the bottom-right corner of the net, giving the US their lead seconds from halftime. It was his first goal for the U-17s.

Turkey pressed for the equalizer late in the second half, charging forward and forcing some brave defending. But the United States endured to garner three points from a tight contest, catapulting themselves into a tie for first place with Portugal.

The US started seven MLS academy players in the game, and brought on D.C. United academy forward Griffin Yow in the second half. Yow scored in a 1-1 draw against Portugal on Wednesday.

Next up for the US are Brazil in the tournament finale, on Sunday at 5:30 pm ET. A win coupled with a loss or draw from Portugal would seal a title-winning end to the US's 2018 campaign.


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