Image: FC Dallas via Twitter
As the World Cup steadily approaches, one question that has continued to plagued the U.S is this, who will be the starting striker?
There are several options for the United States. Ricardo Pepi began his international career with the U.S with a game winning goal in his debut and a brace in his second appearance. Unfortunately after a move to Augsburg FC of the Bundesliga, the goal flood dried up. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricardo_Pepi)
Others like Daryl Dike, Josh Sargent, Jordan Pefok, and most recently Haji Wright have had their chance at the spot but none have seemed to claim the striker spot as their own. As the World Cup nears, a single MLS striker has made the strongest case... FC Dallas' Jesus Ferreira.
Ferreira is currently tied with San Jose Earthquakes' Jeremy Ebobisse for first place in the Golden Boot race with nine goals. In addition to goals, Ferreira also has four assists and his presence on the field gives Dallas an advantage in the attack. His movement off the ball and ability to open up space for his teammates has helped make Dallas the team it is this season, one that is legitimately competing for a top spot in the west. Any worries that fans had about Dallas' striker situation after Pepi's departure are gone.
Tonight Ferreira made his case to be on the roster for the upcoming World Cup. Despite his form in MLS, he hasn't been able to score frequently for the national team, until now that is. Prior to tonight, he had three goals in ten appearances. Ferreira scored not one, not two, not even three, but four goals.
The flood gates opened late in the first half and showcased Ferreira's positioning intelligence.
Nearly ten minutes into the second half, Ferreira doubled the lead. Dallas teammate Paul Arriola (who is also fighting for a spot on the WC roster) played a low pass to him. With just the goalkeeper in front of him, he opted to calmly slot the ball to the low, left corner.
The third goal came just two minutes later. The U.S earned a corner, taken by former Dallas teammate Kellyn Acosta. Acosta found an open Ferreira, who struck the ball into the upper right corner.
Ferreira finished the route in the 78th minute with his fourth of the night and the U.S's fifth goal overall. *Arriola scored in the 62nd minute. Brenden Aaronson made the unselfish decision to play a ground cross to Ferreira, who was easily able to tap it in.
Tonight's match moved Ferreira to seven goals in twelve games. At the moment he seems like the best option for the U.S. He should have plenty of confidence as the U.S travels to El Salvador for their Tuesday night match.