Olympic squad snub a ‘turning point in my career’
British tennis star Andy Murray has revealed he is devastated after being left out of the Great Britain squad for next year’s Olympics. The snub has been seen as a turning point in his career, with many experts believing it may be time to look elsewhere for future success.
Ricardo Pepi was born in Argentina, but he has lived and played his whole career in France. He is a midfielder who plays for the French club Lille OSC. In 2015, he was part of the Argentine squad that won their first ever Olympic gold medal. The team’s success meant that Pepi had a “turning point in my career”.
Ricardo Pepi, a striker for the United States Men’s National Team and FC Dallas, has described the omission from the Olympic qualifying team a turning moment in his season.
Pepi remarked Friday, “It simply made me hungry.” “It piqued my interest in continuing for the rest of the year. To accomplish well for my club and the national team, and it was undoubtedly a watershed moment in my career.”
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Pepi was part of the first 31-player training camp ahead of the CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualification tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, in early March, but he didn’t make the final cut when the roster was reduced to 20 players. The squad failed to qualify for the postponed Tokyo games, and three of the four forwards on the roster — Jonathan Lewis, Benji Michel, and Sebastian Soto — had yet to play for the senior team.
Pepi, on the other hand, has had a spectacular rise after being left off the team, establishing himself as the starting No. 9 for the United States during World Cup qualification. Pepi is one of a few players anticipated to start in Saturday’s international friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Carson, California, which will serve as a warm-up for the players ahead of the three-match qualification campaign that begins next month.
Pepi has been linked with a move to Europe after scoring 13 goals for FC Dallas in 2021, but he has been tight-lipped about his club future, instead focusing on the USMNT.
“That moment hasn’t been determined yet,” Pepi stated. “I feel like I’m in for a game here, and that’s my major focus right now. I believe we must concentrate on the game and accept that whatever occurs will occur, but we must be patient.”
Ricardo Pepi’s chances have improved this year. ISI Photos/Getty Images/Brad Smith
Pepi, who turned 18 in August, decided to play for the United States over Mexico and has already participated in six qualifying matches, scoring three goals.
Jonathan Gomez, a former teammate of Pepi’s in the FC Dallas academy and with North Texas SC in USL League One, is also on the US squad. Gomez, like Pepi, has the choice of playing for Mexico or the United States, and spent the summer training with El Tri. After spending the last two seasons with Louisville City in the USL Championship, he will join Real Sociedad in Spain when the transfer market opens in January.
Pepi described Gomez’s choice concerning his international future as a personal one, and he offered to be a sounding board for him or anybody else facing a similar issue.
“I’m always available to speak with them,” he stated. “‘Do whatever you believe is best,’ I constantly try to advise him. Follow your heart.”
|Canada is ranked first.||8||16||+8|
|2 – USA||8||15||+7|
|Mexico is number three.||8||14||+4|
|Panama is number four.||8||14||+2|
|Costa Rica is number five on the list.||8||9||-1|
|Jamaica is number six.||8||7||-4|
|El Salvador is ranked number seven.||8||6||-6|
|Honduras is number eight on the list.||8||3||-10|
|1-3 teams qualify for the playoffs; 4 teams advance to the second round.|
While Atlanta United FC left defender George Bello will start against Bosnia and Herzegovina, United States coach Gregg Berhalter hasn’t ruled out Gomez coming off the bench to cover for him.
“Having [Gomez] in camp has been fantastic,” Berhalter added. “He’s another kid that is still evolving physically and developing technically, but he’s a terrific competitor and player. Extremely competitive. It’s been a pleasure to work with him.”
Brooks Lennon, Bello’s Atlanta teammate, will start at right back and earn his first USMNT cap, according to Berhalter. Walker Zimmerman of Nashville SC, who has emerged as a key member of the US backline, is anticipated to play the whole 90 minutes.
Jordan Morris, who was out for most of 2021 due to a ruptured ACL, is anticipated to return to the starting lineup for Seattle Sounders FC. He hasn’t played for the US since scoring five goals in his previous five games in 2019.
“Throughout [camp], he’s looked smart,” Berhalter remarked. “We knew he’d be out for a while. He re-entered the game with Seattle, and they’ve done an excellent job of getting him back on track. He seems to be in good shape. He seems to be in good shape. I’m looking forward to seeing him perform tomorrow.”
Aaron Lengthy, a defender with the New York Red Bulls, has returned to the fold after a long injury layoff this camp, although he is unlikely to play.
The US will have a vacation after the game before reconvening on January 6 for the next qualifying window. On January 27, the USMNT plays El Salvador in Columbus, Ohio, then travels to Canada on January 30 before hosting Honduras in Minneapolis on February 2.
The USMNT is in second position with 15 points after eight games, behind only Canada (16 points) and ahead of Mexico (14), Panama (14) and Costa Rica (14) in the 14-game qualifying calendar (9). The top three finishers will automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup, while the fourth-place finisher will compete in a single-leg qualifier in June in Zurich, Switzerland, against the champion of the Oceania Football Confederation.
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The “usmnt roster snubs” is a turning point in my career. The United States Men’s National Team was not selected to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
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