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FC Dallas Homegrown Ricardo Pepi Announced as Finalist in MLS 2021 Year-End Awards

Pepi’s competition for the award is pretty tough.

MLS: FC Dallas at San Jose Earthquakes Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The award finalists are out for the 2021 season. Following the voting from the players, team technical staffs, and media, MLS has announced who has made the cut on the season awards.

FC Dallas Homegrown Ricardo Pepi is a finalist for the AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year, which recognizes the best player under the age of 22.

The winners will be announced over the next few weeks.

The 18-year old scored 13 goals and recorded three assists during his 2021 season with FC Dallas. He tied Diego Fagundez’s 2013 record for most goals scored as a teenager and is only the second teenager to score in double digits in a single season. His 16 goals overall are the third-most of any MLS player as a teenager.

The 2021 season was quite a special one for the El Paso native. Pepi became the youngest player in MLS and FC Dallas history at 18 years and 196 days old to score a hat trick when he scored three goals in the 4-1 win against the LA Galaxy on July 24, 2021. He participated in his first MLS All-Star Game in August 2021 and scored the game-winning penalty for MLS to beat LIGA MX 3-2 in penalties following a 1-1 draw in regulation. He also participated in the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge a day prior and won the Cross and Volley Challenge for MLS.

Pepi is in the chase for the Young Player of the Year Award alongside LA Galaxy’s Julián Araujo and New England Revolution star Tajon Buchanan.