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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Ricardo Pepi

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Ricardo Pepi was handed a major assignment for his very first appearance with the U.S. men’s national team, and the FC Dallas teenager responded by helping lead a turnaround for the ages.

Pepi scored the go-ahead goal, and had a hand in three more goals in a 4-1 comeback victory over Honduras in Concacaf World Cup qualifying, a performance that helped Pepi earn SBI USMNT Man of the Match honors.

Pepi was the clear choice on a night when Sebastian Lletget and Antonee Robinson were also excellent as impact substitutions.


What did you think of Pepi’s performance? Who else do you think deserved consideration for Man of the Match?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. The kid was all over, whether in hold up play or running the lines making defenders wonder where he was. He hit another gear the 2nd half. I seriously think an overseas team, or teams, will already be scouting if not already. He’s catching attention of his talent and still only 18! But definitely loved how he kept his head and didn’t look overwhelmed.

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  2. Pepi deserves it for sure. Adams was a rock again, but his exploits didn’t necessarily win the game for us, so I gotta give it to the guy who scored and assisted.

    Props to Pulisic for trying to continue on even with a rolled/sprained ankle. That’s good leadership and I think it helped set the tone for his teammates on. He was looking dangerous as well, right before that collision.

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  3. Loved to see Pepi make the contributions he did, excited he helped us finally put the ball in the net, no prob giving him MOM. Over the three game window though it has to be Adams. The guy just doesn’t quit, he does so much when he is out there. Late in this game, after over 260 minutes in one week, Adams was still beating everyone to loose balls. This guy is the centerpiece of this team.

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  4. Pepi deserves man of the match for sure, but Tyler Adams gets an honorable mention. Three full games in a week and still making an contribution in the second half of this one.

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    • Sargent seems to be the King of potential without results. Guy needs to start scoring goals somewhere other than training.

      Might see him as St Louis flagship signing otherwise…

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    • A commentator brought up Eddie Johnson last night after Pepi scored his goal and I thought to myself, “Oh no! Don’t jinx the kid!”

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      • A difference between Johnson and Pepi is that Pepi created chances for others, Johnson was mostly rewarded for making good runs by teammates’ service. So the really are not the same, still the US has a long history of expecting too much from teenagers and then trashing them if they fail to fulfill expectations.

  5. Also, it should be noted that the heart and intensity of this huge comeback and the fire of this game in general came not from Europe, but from MLS. Pepi, Lleget, Roldan, Turner, even Najar from Honduras represented what everyone in the world wants form their National Team; Grit and Heart.

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    • I think that the European players aren’t used to such “nasty” play. Even when you watch derby games, CL finals, European WC qualifiers you don’t see the bodies flying, the hard tackles and the take no prisoners attitude present in CONCACAF. Plus European games are well refereed. Also, I think it may matter if the player went to Europe early on or if they went through MLS play, which is more physical. For those who start early in Europe I think it takes them some time to adjust to CONCACAF play.

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    • The MLS players did themselves proud, however it’s worth noting that of the “big 4” European players (Pulisic, McKennie, Dest, Reyna) two had already left with injuries, one had been kicked out of the team, and Pulisic was gone early in the second half. Not sure who the Euro-slackers were.

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  6. Everyone who’s seen Pepi play last year to now, was wondering. Why couldn’t we have seen him play against Canada for 20 minutes hunting for a goal in front of the home crowd of 40,000! Viva la Raza!! His family, El Paso, FCD (la fabrica), has got to be so proud! He deserves it!!

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  7. Really glad what Miles Robinson brings to this pool. We needed that really bad. Hopefully Pepi grabs that 9 job from here and out. Now we gotta provide the service

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  8. Ricardo Pepi, Brenden Aaronson, Sebastian Lleget, Antonee Robinson, Miles Robinson were all fantastic b/c of how they played with heart and conviction. I do have to recognize that Honduras’ Andy Najar was the best player on the field tonight. He had an amazing game.

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  9. Among the best and most consistent players throughout the three games were MLS standouts- Pepi and M Robinson, English Championship- A Robinson and Austrian Bundesliga- Aaronson. Obviously Adams and Pulisic were also massive, but an interesting perspective on how the front of the jersey matters a lot less.

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