USMNT striker Pepi completes transfer to PSV

Ricardo Pepi of FC Groningen looks on while suffering a blood nose during the Eredivisie match between FC Groningen and N.E.C. Nijmegen at the Euroborg on April 25, 2023 in Groningen, Netherlands The match is a continuation of the match abandoned on April 22nd when a fan threw a beer cup and hit an assistant referee.

Ricardo Pepi is making his stay in the Netherlands permanent.

After impressing on loan with Groningen last season, the U.S. national team striker has completed a transfer to PSV from German outfit Augsburg.

Pepi will wear the No. 14 at PSV and has signed a five-year contract. ESPN reported last month that the Dutch club will pay $9.8 million for the striker.

“I am incredibly happy and excited to be here,” Pepi told PSV’s website. “I believe this is the right step for my career. PSV is a club with great ambitions, and I share the same desire to win trophies. I am a hardworking player who is willing to put in the dirty work. I prefer to have the ball close to the goal because that’s when I can score goals.”

Pepi’s time at Augsburg was ill-fated from the moment the Bundesliga side paid a club-record fee of $20 million in January 2022 to sign the striker from FC Dallas.

After failing to score in his first half season with Augsburg, Pepi started the 2022-23 season off slowly as well before joining Groningen on loan for the rest of the campaign.

With Groningen, Pepi found his scoring touch once again, netting 12 times in the Eredivisie despite the club’s relegation.

“Ricardo possesses the qualities we look for in an attacker, the qualities of a PSV player,” said the club’s director of football Earnie Stewart, who recently left his position as U.S. Soccer sporting director to take the job with the Dutch power.

“He has proven to be a goalscorer in multiple positions, and he works extremely hard for it. It speaks volumes that he accounted for such a large portion of FC Groningen’s goals.”

Pepi just missed out on the USMNT’s World Cup squad, but has come back into the fold with a bang after the tournament in Qatar.

The 20-year-old has scored four goals in four appearances with the USMNT in 2023, including a goal against Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinal last month.

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