USMNT World Cup 2022 roster for Qatar leaves out Ricardo Pepi despite good form, livid fans demand justice

The 19-year-old striker had been in wonderful form and also helped the USA tem qualify for the world up with three goals

USMNT World Cup 2022 roster for Qatar leaves out Ricardo Pepi despite good form, livid fans demand justice
Ricardo Pepi was left out of the World Squad announced for World Cup in Qatar (Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
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The US Men's National Soccer Team has announced its squad bound for the World Cup in Qatar and the fans are not happy with it. Players like Haji Wright, Joe Scally, and Sean Johnson made the cut. However, players like Zack Steffen, Paul Arriola, and Ricardo Pepi, despite his wonderful form, could not make the cut. The final squad was announced by the USA coach Gregg Berhalter on Wednesday afternoon, November 9, at a special televised event at Brooklyn Steel. The fans are absolutely livid with Pepi not making the list.

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The 19-year-old striker had been in wonderful form in recent times and it looked like his position in the squad for the World Cup taking place in Qatar was sure. Ricardo Pepi had previously struggled with his form as the player went through a severe slump where he did not score for 11 games, for club or country. As a result, the massive $20 million move to Augsburg in the Bundesliga seemed like a flop and it seemed like Pepi had fallen off the wagon. However, the situation changed 180 degrees for the forward player when he started playing for Groningen as his graph only went upwards. The fierce player came back on track with six goals in nine matches. At the mere age of 19 and with an entire career ahead of him, Pepi has a lot to look forward to but the omission from the Fifa World Cup is going to sting for a while. There has been no official statement from the federation yet. 

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Pepi was a major factor during the World Cup qualifiers as he helped sail the team to the other side. While announcing the squad, Berhalter said, "In the case of Ricardo, that was a really difficult conversation that I had to have with him. It’s always difficult when a guy helps you get to the World Cup, he scores three goals in World Cup qualifying, and isn’t going to be a part of the program. Again, it’s more about who we did add that we felt good about." The fans are not happy with this decision. 

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Ricardo Pep of The United States looks on during the international friendly match between Saudi Arabia and United States at Estadio  Nueva Condomina on September 27, 2022 in Murcia, Spain.
Ricardo Pep of The United States looks on during the international friendly match between Saudi Arabia and United States at Estadio Nueva Condomina on September 27, 2022 in Murcia, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

 


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Fans react as Ricardo Pepi is left out of World Cup squad

One disappointed user tweeted, "Leaving out Santi Gimenez for Funes Mori and Raul Jimenez is insane, but leaving out Ricardo Pepi for a player who just joined your team in July is just sickening (not for me) lol." Another angry user wrote, "Lemme get this straight. Pepi has without a doubt had a profound impact on helping usa in the qualifiers, let alone, in his new European team. Wright who has almost no international experience, is getting called up cuz he’s doing goon in turkey??? How does that make sense?"

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One user talked about his good form saying, "Pepi has 6 goals and 2 assists in 8 games this seasons in the Netherlands. You talk about taking strikers in form, so no reason why he should have been snubbed." Another user tweeted, "It actually blows my money how poor Greggs player selection is. Roldan who’s a water boy and Morris who’s the training tables best friend should NOT be representing my country at the World Cup. Ricardo Pepi I am so sorry you do not deserve this."

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One user said, "Imagine committing your international future with USA over Mexico only to be not called up for the World Cup. Ricardo Pepi joined Augsburg over Wolfsburg in Jan and that didn't worked but has been brilliant for Groningen on loan in the Eredivise. Unfortunate!" One more user tweeted, "i feel terrible for ricardo pepi thats such a dirty move by gregg berhlater to leave him off the roster especially considering he probably saved his job last year during qualifiers"

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