USA striker Ricardo Pepi stepped up preparation for the new Bundesliga campaign in positive fashion by scoring in Augsburg’s first pre-season friendly.
Pepi got his maiden goal in Augsburg colours when he slotted home the opener from close range in a 5-0 win over local side TSV Schwaben Augsburg on Tuesday.
Tougher tests will come for the 19-year-old after a 45-minute run out against the fifth-tier side, but the ambitious attacker will aim to make it the start of a bright first full season in Germany.
Pepi only moved from FC Dallas to Augsburg in January 2022, and he played 11 league matches – including four times from the kick-off – to help his new team steer comfortably clear of relegation trouble.
USA head coach Gregg Berhalter is hopeful that the side that finished 13th last season will begin to rely more heavily on the 2021 MLS Young Player of the Year.
“When he moved, I told him Augsburg is a stable club and that stability is going to help,” Berhalter told ESPN this week.
Pepi will have more chances to impress recently appointed Augsburg head coach Enrico Maaßen in several more friendlies next month, before the Bavarians play their first competitive match against lower-league TUS Blau-Weiss Lohne in the DFB Cup first round on 31 July.
Augsburg then kick-off their Bundesliga campaign a week later with a home match against Freiburg on Saturday 6 August.
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