USMNT figure Ricardo Pepi opened up about his recent time in Germany with FC Augsburg, revealing 'it was quite a tough time' after finding it difficult to adapt.
The striker completed the move from Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas to Augsburg in January, breaking club record with transfer fee of $20m. But the American quickly experienced a downturn in form, going from 13 goals and three assists to the bench.
“It was quite a tough time. A different country, a different culture and a different competition. It was honestly a lot at the same time,” Pepi told Voetbal International. “My feeling was that I could only adapt to the European way of playing football by playing a lot somewhere. That probably wasn’t going to happen in Germany yet.”
The player has since been loaned to Eredivise side FC Groningen to secure more playing time. And it seems the move propelled Pepi to his old ways, registering his first assist to inspire the 1-0 victory over SC Cambuur.
But the end goals remains making the USMNT’s 26-player squad headed to Qatar.
“I really want to be there. The national team coach has said that it is important that I play a lot. Play a lot and score for FC Groningen and go to the World Cup. That is the plan,” he concluded.
The player has stiff competition for the position, with former teammate Jesus Ferreira looking to take that starting role. But with three months left until the international tournament, anything can happen.