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Ricardo Pepi – the electrifying 19-year-old American striker – was spotted wearing a Netherlands jersey after the USMNT fell to the Dutch in the knockout stage of the World Cup. It appears he may have lost a bet, but regardless, donning the Netherlands’ orange after the U.S. loss is a tough look for the young man.
Pepi plays professionally for FC Groningen in the Netherlands and watched the USMNT loss in a bar in the city center of his home away from home.
What likely happened here is that he watched the match with some of his Groningen teammates, who are mostly Dutch, and made a bet the Americans would pull off the upset.
The USMNT failed to do so, losing 3-1, and Pepi had to pay up by wearing a Netherlands jersey and dancing on a pole for a couple of seconds.
“Nice video of Ricardo Pepi who deals with the loss of the US in this way in the city center of Groningen,” the tweet says, translated from Dutch to English.
Pepi may not have been that upset to see the USMNT fall to the Netherlands and spite the American side given the fact that he was snubbed for not making the 26-man squad for Qatar.
The teenager has scored 30 goals in 92 professional appearances across the MLS, the Bundesliga, and Dutch league. On the international stage, Pepi has netted three goals in just 12 appearances for the USMNT.
His resumé spoke for itself heading into the World Cup, but USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter made the bold decision to keep him off the squad.
The USMNT ultimately scored just three goals in four World Cup matches and the forwards group didn’t show much threat at all. Having Pepi in Qatar certainly wouldn’t have hurt the American’s chances.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris