Was there even a doubt that FC Dallas Homegrown forward Ricardo Pepi would top this season’s 22 Under 22 list? No. There wasn’t, at least in our minds and thankfully the writers at the league’s website agreed.
Pepi earned the top honors this year after enjoying a breakout season where he has scored 13 goals in league play and another three for the United State’s Men’s national team in World Cup qualifying. The 18-year-old is the highest-scoring American in the league at the moment and has been linked with multiple European clubs this fall for a winter transfer following the conclusion of this season.
This is the third time an FC Dallas player has earned the top spot on the league’s annual list. Fabian Castillo topped the charts in 2015 and Brek Shea made the top of the list in 2011.
Three other FC Dallas players also made the rankings. Jesus Ferreira (#9), Paxton Pomykal (#13), and Justin Che (#16) all earned a spot on the list, meaning FC Dallas is the best-represented team in the 22 Under 22 rankings for the third year in a row.
Ferreira’s bounce-back season as he’s contributed six goals and six assists in 22 games. Pomykal earns a spot in the rankings for the third consecutive season. The 21-year-old was able to overcome an injury-plagued 2020 and featured in all but three games this year. Seventeen-year-old defender Justin Che makes the 22 Under 22 list for the first time after starting 11 games for FC Dallas since returning from his loan to Bayern Munich II.