FRISCO, TX- FC Dallas received the LA Galaxy seeking a much-needed win after losing three consecutive games on the road in a magical night for Ricardo Pepi.
Ricardo Pepi was featured in FCD’s win as he scored a hattrick on Saturday’s game for his first-ever MLS career-hattrick. Pepi became the youngest player in MLS history to achieve three goals in a game at just 18 years of age.
“It means a lot. I can see my hard work paying off,” said Pepi. “I wasn’t expecting to score three goals tonight, the chances I got I was able to put them away.”
FCD started things off a bit rocky by letting the opposition gain position quickly and threatening the front with some early shots. Luchi’s men found themselves pushed back and held back by the Galaxy defense with a few attempts to go forward.
“The first 20 to 25 minutes of the match we were up against the ropes,” Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “They were generating crosses and taking shots. We were forced to make plays defensively. We definitely suffered.”
When things seemed like they were leaning more in favor of the visitors, a beautiful ball in between the defense from Schön led Pepi to get the ball in front after taking a slight deflection to send his shot to the back of the net.
Pepi converted a second goal after winning a ball in the box after the corner kick was taken; he picked up the loose ball and sent his shot to the back of the net.
The second half was much better for FCD as they found more spaces open up due to LA Galaxy looking to level the score.
Pepi had a historic night for FC Dallas as he scored his first-ever career hat trick. Pepi scored tonight his 9th goal of the season and gave the team their third win. Pepi was phenomenal on Saturday night.
“He’s not the player of today,” said Gonzalez, “He’s a player for the future”
Pepi scored his second career hat trick as he had previously done it with his former side NTXSC in a match against USL League One side Chattanooga Red Wolves.
“I’m so proud of him,” said Gonzalez. “Now it’s very clear he’s going to get marked harder and teams are going to be more physical, and teams will be scouting him. His job is only going to get harder.”
Both Paxton Pomykal and Schön were phenomenal in the build up for the team’s goals. Luchi Gonzalez praised both of them for their current performances this season.
When things seem to end 3-0, homegrown Justin Che had other things in mind sending a very long ball to Jáder Obrian to leave him with the keeper to make it four goals. Obrian scored his third goal of the season, giving him a huge confidence boost knowing what’s coming ahead.
“We needed this win,” said Pepi. “We need to carry this momentum over to our road games where we can gain the confidence (of the fans) back.”
FC Dallas needed this win against a very tough opponent in the Western Conference. Saturday’s win might give them the momentum they need ahead of their matches against Seattle and Sporting Kansas City.