Jesus Ferreira ready to be USMNT's starter at World Cup, insists FC Dallas head coach

Chris Smith
Ferreira is battling for the MLS Golden Boot.
Ferreira is battling for the MLS Golden Boot. / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas head coach Nico Estevez believes striker Jesus Ferreira is ready to spearhead the United States Men's National Team's attack at the upcoming World Cup.

Ferreira delivered a brace in Dallas' 2-1 win over LAFC on Saturday, taking his total for the season to 18 goals in MLS play - fourth in the MLS Golden Boot race.

The No.9 spot is one of many still up for grabs for the USMNT, with the likes of Jordan Pefok, Haji Wright, and Josh Sargent all impressing recently. Even fellow MLS products like Brandon Vazquez and Ricardo Pepi cannot be ruled out yet.

Nevertheless, Estevez - a former assistant to Gregg Berhalter - has backed Ferreira, who has seven goals and four assists in 13 senior caps to date.

“I think so,” Estevez responded when asked if Ferreira is ready to be a USMNT starter. “I talked with him: You have to be focused on what you can control in the team. If you do well, they will talk of you. But also, he has the confidence from the staff. He has the confidence from his teammates. He has the confidence from the US men’s national team teammates, because what he does is really good and they value his quality.

“To get into the World Cup, he has to do well with us, and he knows that and he's showing it. And I think if he keeps doing that, he'll be ready to do anything that is asked of him.”

Given how long he's been on the scene at both club and international levels, it's easy to forget that Ferreira will only turn 22 just days after the World Cup concludes in December.

His level of improvement this season has been huge and Ferreira has even captained Dallas on occasion, despite his young age. All signs of the player developing an elite mentality.

“Jesus is a player that always is pushing and I think I remember when he got to 10 [goals], and I talked with him and said, now another 10,” said Estevez.

“In these two games that he had to be the captain, I've seen him with a different mentality and a spirit. He has carried the team. He has shown a lot of mentality with his effort. And I think he's a complete player. He's getting in a spot where if we keep working hard with him, he will be a player that will leave here a lot of good memories for the club.”

FC Dallas and Ferreira's next test comes against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

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