Ricardo Pepi is the big absentee from Gregg Berhalter‘s roster to represent the United States at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, and not just because of the goals he can contribute at the tournament, but because the 19-year-old is in his prime and will be missed at the tournament.
The 19-year-old striker has been in fine form of late, finding the net in six of his last eight appearances for Groningen in the Eredivisie. Those exploits were expected to get him the nod from Gregg Berhalter in the USMNT’s Qatar 2022 plans, but the talented teenager is among those who have been overlooked.
Pepi responds with goals in the Eredivisie
Admittedly understandably disappointed to be left out of the squad for the World Cup in the Middle East, Pepi is not dropping the level that took him to the CONCACAF qualifiers. The 19-year-old is one of Groningen’s key men and has the team in mid-table in the Eredivisie.
Pepi did not hide his disappointment at being left out of the World Cup in Qatar.
“It’s disappointing because I feel like I gave myself the best chances to be on the final World Cup roster. I feel like I had a chance, but at the same time it’s not disappointing because I did my part, I played a lot of minutes, I scored some goals and I’m really happy about that. At the end of the day it’s a coach’s decision that I can’t control,” said a disappointed Pepi.
“The moment he told me I wasn’t selected, I really decided to finish listening to what he was telling me and didn’t want to ask any more questions. Once he told me, I was thinking about turning the page as soon as possible and focusing on the game. I can’t keep thinking about why he didn’t select me,” said the young man who will surely have more opportunities to go to a World Cup.