Major League Soccer

Ricardo Pepi completes transfer from FC Dallas to FC Augsburg

Chris Smith
Ricardo Pepi is officially the most expensive outgoing MLS homegrown player of all time.
Ricardo Pepi is officially the most expensive outgoing MLS homegrown player of all time. / Brad Smith/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Ricardo Pepi has completed his record-breaking transfer from FC Dallas to FC Augsburg, the Bundesliga club announced on Monday.

As revealed by 90min, the teenage striker has been the subject of intense interest from European giants across the 'top five' leagues, while Ajax were also involved in talks at an early stage.

The number of clubs chasing Pepi was hardly surprising given his breakout 2021 campaign, scoring 13 goals in 27 MLS starts - the most prolific season from a teenager in league history - while he bagged three goals and three assists across his first seven USMNT caps.

90min reported on Saturday that Augsburg had won the race for his signature, with the Bundesliga side paying $20m plus add-ons. The fee is a club record, and the highest received by an MLS club for a homegrown player - a record previously set by Alphonso Davies.

Pepi passed his medical and completed formalities on Sunday, with the move officially announced on Monday.

“We are delighted that Ricardo has decided to move to FCA despite the interest of numerous top international clubs. We were able to show him a clear sporting perspective for his further development, which convinced him," said Stefan Reuter, Augsburg sporting director. 

"We are convinced that he will continue to develop in Augsburg and that we will all have a lot of fun together in the years to come."

Pepi described Augsburg as the "perfect" place to begin his European "dream".

"It was my dream to move to Europe after the last MLS season. I see FC Augsburg and the Bundesliga as the perfect environment to be able to collect a lot of match practice at the highest level as a young player, ”said the 18-year-old. 

“It was impressive how much the people in charge at FCA tried to help me. So from the very first moment, I had a really good feeling that FCA was exactly the right club for me. I'm looking forward to [meeting] my new colleagues and would like to join the team as soon as possible and can hardly wait for it to start."

Pepi will immediately enter a high-pressure situation, with Augsburg just one point above the relegation playoff spot after 17 games.

But the striker will certainly get chances. Only three teams have scored fewer goals (17), while no individual Fuggerstädter player has hit the net more than three times in the Bundesliga this season.