FC Dallas Forward Ricardo Pepi Voted MLS Player of the Week for Week 22

August 30, 2021 – Major League Soccer (MLS) – FC Dallas News Release

FRISCO, TX – FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi has been voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Week for Week 22 of the 2021 MLS season after he scored two goals and added an assist in FC Dallas’ 5-3 win against Austin FC at Q2 Stadium on Aug. 29. He was named the MLS Player of the Week for the second time this season and in his career, also getting the honor in Week 15 after becoming the youngest player in league history to score a hat trick.

This is the first time since 2009 that FC Dallas has had a two-time MLS Player of the Week. Former FC Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham was named Player of the Week four times during the 2009 season.

Pepi added his name to the goal list with his first in the 36th minute. Taking a square pass near the top of the center of the penalty area, Pepi hit a low shot on the half-turn that slipped just inside the left-hand post.

The FC Dallas Academy product then doubled his count with FCD’s fourth goal in the 40th minute. Racing free down the right flank, Pepi ran into the box and cut toward the right side of the goal before hammering a low drive past the ‘keeper inside the near post.

The brace gave Pepi 11 goals for the season, now in fifth place in the race for the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi. Pepi is just the second teenager in MLS history to score in double-digits in a season, along with Diego Fagundez, who had 13 goals in 2013 for New England. Pepi’s 13 career league goals are fourth-most by a teenager in MLS history.

Pepi and Homegrown Jesús Ferreira were also named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week for Week 22. This is Pepi’s fourth career Team of the Week appearance and Ferreira’s fifth career Team of the Week appearance since 2019 where he was named to three starting lineups and one bench appearance.

As Austin FC looked to play the ball out of their own penalty area, Pepi knocked the ball off the goalkeeper’s feet right to Ferreira, who scored the first of his two goals on the right.

Ferreira would score his second goal in the 38th minute after he collected a loose ball inside of the box and smashed it into the top right corner to extend the lead to 3-1 for FC Dallas.

The brace against Austin FC is Ferreira’s first MLS brace. He has recorded four goals and four assists in 15 appearances for FC Dallas this season.

MLSsoccer.com’s Week 22 Team of The Week

F – Adrien Hunou (MIN), Valentín Castellanos (NYC), Ricardo Pepi (DAL)

M – Brian Rodríguez (LAFC), Jesús Ferreira (DAL), Lucas Zelarayán (CLB), Ryan Gauld (VAN)

D – Daniel Lovitz (NSH), Ilie Sánchez (SKC), Carlos Terán (CHI)

GK – Steve Clark (POR)

Bench – Nick Marsman (MIA), Djordje Mihailovic (MTL), Maxi Moralez (NYC), Yordy Reyna (DC), Dejan Joveljic (LA), Miguel Berry (CLB), Felipe Mora (POR)

Coach – Giovanni Savarese (POR)

FC Dallas will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 4, when they take on the Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium (7PM CT, UniMás).

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.

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