USA star snubbed from 2022 FIFA World Cup squad spotted pole dancing wearing a Netherlands kit after Oranje knock USMNT out 

USA striker Ricardo Pepi was spotted dancing on a pole while wearing a Netherlands kit after the Oranje knocked the USMNT out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the Round of 16.

Pepi, 19, was a surprise omission from the USMNT 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar. The on-loan FC Groningen centre-forward has enjoyed a fine run of form in the Eredivisie, scoring seven goals and providing two assists in 15 appearances across competitions.

However, USA boss Gregg Berhalter opted not to pick Pepe for the squad that participated in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The USMNT were beaten 3-1 by the Netherlands in the last 16 on December 3.

Pepe was recorded dancing on a pole while wearing the Oranje’s famous kit after appearing to have lost a bet. A video has surfaced showing Pepe at what appears to be a nightclub, where he wore the Dutch shirt while a group watched on chanteing his name.

Mooi filmpje van Ricardo Pepi die in de binnenstad van Groningen op deze manier omgaat met het verlies van de VS.

Pepe previously spoke of his disappointment on missing out on a place at the FIFA World Cup with the USMNT. He said (via the Daily Star):

“Disappointing because I felt like I gave myself the best opportunities to be in the World Cup roster.”

He continued:

“I felt like I had a chance, but also not disappointing at the same time because, like I said, I did my thing. I went out there. I played many minutes. I scored my goals. I’m really happy with that situation.”


USMNT legend Clint Dempsey sees positives from 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign

Dempsey reacts to USA's exit.
Dempsey reacts to USA’s exit.

The USMNT may have exited the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the last 16, but they put in an inspired performance. They went unbeaten in the group stage, starting with a 1-1 draw with Wales.

Gregg Berhalter’s side then drew goalless against England, with many praising their display against one of the tournament’s strongest sides. USA then beat Iran 2-0 in a virtual ‘do-or-die’ clash to secure their place in the last 16 against the Netherlands.

Dempsey, who earned 141 international caps for the Stars and Stripes, has taken the positives following their exit from the competition. He said (via the Daily Mail):

“It’s the experience you get from being in the World Cup and getting out of the group. That was one of the highest ranked in all of this tournament and everybody being in the top 20.”

The former Fulham attacker added that the experience taken from their performance in Qatar will help the younger generation that are emerging:

“That’s what we need, and we need to inspire these kids that are coming up, who are going to be the 23-, 22-, 21-year-olds that are going to break into this team and make it better for 2026.”

Netherlands, meanwhile, will play Argentina in the quarterfinals on Friday (December 9).

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