Image: FC Dallas' Twitter
Two FC Dallas players have already gotten their first taste of competitive soccer since the end of 2020, Tanner Tessman and Jesus Ferreira. The Dallas players were originally called into Jason Kreis' U-23 USMNT training camp, alongside fellow homegrown Bryan Reynolds, who later had to leave camp to complete his eventual transfer to A.S Roma. During the training camp, Ferreira and Tessman were named to the senior USMNT roster and were available for selection for the friendly against Trinidad and Tobago. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2021/01/24/fc-dallas-homegrowns-jes-s-ferreira-and-tanner-tessmann-part-usmnt-travel-roster)
Image: FC Dallas website
This game was the USMNT debut Tanner Tessman and Ferreira's second cap with the US. Ferreira was in the starting eleven and Tessman later came off the bench in the 78th minute.
Ferreira made the most of his start. In the first half alone, he scored his first goal for the US and assisted on the three other goals. His first assist came a selfless pass made in the box to Colorado Rapid's Jonathan Lewis for the opening goal in the 2nd minute of the game.
Ferreira later added a second goal in the 62nd minute before subbing out. Ferreira had an excellent game that earned him praise and notice all over social media. His form in this game was a stark contrast to his club play in 2020.
Image: Jerome Miron- USA TODAY Sports
After a promising 2019 season, Ferreira had a quiet 2020 season. He had only a single goal and assist in 21 games in 2020, whereas in 2019, he lead FC Dallas in scoring with 8 goals and tallied 6 assists along the way in 34 games.
The biggest difference between those two seasons is where he was on the field. For the first half of 2019, Jesus was the starting striker for Dallas, however towards the end of 2019, he began to play more in the midfield as a free 8 due to an injury to fellow teammate Paxton Pomykal and the sudden emergence of Zdenek Ondrasek as the club's main striker.
Ferreira could be a good depth piece for the midfield if needed but did not possess the same killer passes that Paxton was known for and in 2020 was more stifled in this role. There has been some speculation that Dallas could switch to a two-striker system for 2021. Should that happen, Ferreira could play the second striker role. The midfield has gotten more stacked over the last year with the signing of Andres Ricaurte and Tanner Tessman and Paxton should be recovered enough to play, leaving Ferreira out of the midfield.
Buzz Carrick of 3rd Degree has mentioned that Ferreira's style is similar to a former FC Dallas player. The 1999 MLS MVP, Jason Kreis. In the 1999 season, Kreis played as an off striker, where in addition to the MVP trophy, he also held the league's Golden Boot with 18 goals and had 15 assists. Buzz goes on to write about the best way to get production out of Ferreira. (https://3rddegree.net/the-jesus-ferreira-conundrum)
Image: Reinhold Mata- USA TODAY Sports
Hopefully Ferreira's performance for the USMNT carries over for FC Dallas in 2021. The FC Dallas attack had a lackuster season last year, hopefully Ferreira can add a spark to it this year and find his old goal scoring form.
By Melanie G. Isbell