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MLS Footnotes: Jesús Ferreira is close to his World Cup dream

By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports Soccer Writer

Editor’s notice: MLS Footnotes takes you inside the key speaking factors across the league and throughout American soccer.

Before the U.S. Men’s National Team met fellow World Cup entrant Morocco on June 1 in a tune-up for Qatar, FC Dallas ahead Jesús Ferreira politely shot down any suggestion that his spot on the U.S. roster for the largest occasion in sports activities was already locked up.

Three U.S. begins and four international goals later, Ferreira nonetheless isn’t taking something without any consideration.

“I’m in the identical boat — I don’t need to suppose forward an excessive amount of,” he instructed FOX Sports this week. “I would like to keep current, hold working exhausting, getting minutes and offering objectives and assists, and hopefully I will be on that roster on the finish of the 12 months.”

From Ferreira’s perspective, that’s the smart strategy. But the actual fact of the matter is that at this level, lower than 5 months out from the Americans’ Nov. 21 opener in opposition to Wales, solely an damage or a colossal drop in from would forestall the 21-year-old from making coach Gregg Berhalter’s 26-man World Cup squad.

No U.S. ahead has been as constant for membership and nation over the previous 12 months as Ferreira. He was a daily in the course of the second half of qualifying. He was in Berhalter’s lineup in all however one of many nationwide crew’s 4 June video games. On Wednesday, he scored his MLS-leading tenth objective of the season in Dallas’ 3-1 loss at LAFC:

With two devoted U.S. strikers seemingly to make the reduce for Qatar, there’s nonetheless room for an additional scorching foot to declare the ultimate spot within the months forward. All eyes shall be on the European-based contingent when seasons overseas resume in August, with Daryl Dike, Ricardo Pepi, Jordan Pefok, Josh Sargent and Haji Wright all nonetheless within the operating to be part of Ferreira on the roster. He’ll be there, even when that actuality hasn’t set in fairly get.

“It can be a dream come true,” Ferreira mentioned. “That’s the final word objective. That’s the match you need to be in. To symbolize my nation at a World Cup, the largest stage in soccer, can be an incredible feeling.”


1. A Texas-sized rivalry

For FCD, the LAFC match and Monday’s Independence Day go to from Miami are sandwiched between video games in opposition to in-state foes Austin FC and the Houston Dynamo.

Dallas performed Austin to a 2-2 tie final weekend. They’ll journey to Houston on July 10.

With Austin sitting third within the Western Conference and the Dynamo beneath the playoff line but once more — Houston hasn’t made the playoffs since 2017 — has the previous, only one 12 months faraway from its growth season, already change into the larger Texas rival?

“Obviously it’s all the time been Houston and Dallas, however I believe that each sport that passes with Austin, the rivalry is constructing,” Ferreira mentioned. Still, it’s younger. The Dynamo have been FCD’s chief nemesis since they moved to Houston from San Jose in 2006 and hoisted the membership’s first MLS Cup later that 12 months on Dallas’ dwelling area in suburban Frisco.

“Anytime we play Houston, we would like to destroy them as a result of we simply hate them,” mentioned Ferreira, who added that the animosity between the golf equipment extends to his days on the youth degree. “I believe Austin shall be one thing like that, the place younger guys from the academy will be taught that Austin is a rivalry sport additionally.” 

2. Holiday slate

The NFL has Thanksgiving. New Year’s Day is related to college football and, extra lately, the NHL’s Winter Classic. The NBA has made Christmas its personal.

July 4 has lengthy been MLS’s go-to vacation, however with Independence Day falling on a Monday this 12 months, July 3 really boasts twice as many matches (eight) than the next day.

With solely two video games on tab this Saturday, 16 of the 28 MLS groups have been in motion Wednesday, with two extra video games (Charlotte-Austin, Red Bulls-Atlanta) scheduled for Thursday.

3. Morris making his case

Ferreira isn’t the one USMNT attacker in high-quality type at membership degree. Seattle’s Jordan Morris scored his third objective in 4 video games for membership and nation within the Sounders’ 2-1 loss to Montreal on Wednesday:

Christian Roldan, whom Morris arrange for a objective in opposition to Sporting Kansas City final week, has assisted on Morris’ previous two strikes.

4. Third-time fortunate?

For the third consecutive Olympic cycle, the U.S. will face Honduras with a spot within the Summer Games at stake. The earlier two conferences have been disastrous for the Americans. The under-23 nationwide crew misplaced to Los Catratchos in 2015, then to Colombia in a two-leg playoff in early 2016. Last 12 months, the U-23s fell to Honduras simply months earlier than the rescheduled 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Because of a format change, the U.S. under-20 squad at present competing within the CONCACAF U-20 championship can qualify for the 2024 Games in Paris by beating Honduras in Friday’s semifinal (9 p.m. ET, FS1). With this sport in San Pedro Sula, it might be the hardest of the three. 

Philadelphia Union playmaker Paxten Aaronson, the youthful brother of USMNT standout Brenden Aaronson and considered one of 17 MLS gamers on coach Mikey Varas’ 20-player roster, scored each U.S. objectives in Tuesday’s 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Costa Rica.

5. How will Chiellini slot in?

What just a few days for LAFC. First, the membership shocked the world by signing Wales captain and five-time UEFA Champions League winner Gareth Bale to a one-year contract. Then LAFC lastly introduced that Carlos Vela, whose contract extension was agreed to months in the past, would stay a chosen participant in Los Angeles by at the very least 2023. And on Wednesday, Steve Cherundolo’s crew formally launched former Juventus and Italian National Team heart again Giorgio Chiellini:

Chiellini was in the home to watch Wednesday’s victory. Both Bale and Chiellini are anticipated to have their International Transfer Certificates accepted by FIFA earlier than “El Trafico” in opposition to the Galaxy on July 8. It shall be fascinating to see if Cherundolo throws Chiellini proper into the fray.

Chiellini, who turns 38 in August, hasn’t performed since June 1. Will he be match sufficient to begin instantly? While Bale is seemingly to come off the bench in his first few video games as he eases into his new atmosphere, as a result of heart backs have to be prepared to go from the primary whistle, Chiellini received’t have that luxurious.

6. Insigne should hit the bottom operating

Can Lorenzo Insigne‘s arrival flip Toronto FC‘s season round? Chiellini’s former Azzurri teammate was additionally launched this week, and his arrival north of the border comes not a second too quickly: After shedding at dwelling to the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, TFC are actually 2W-7L-1T of their previous 10 outings.

Sean Zawadzki opened the scoring for the guests with a fairly, long-range effort:

7. Brenner late than by no means 

FC Cincinnati ahead Brenner was hailed as coup when the younger Brazilian left Sao Paulo for southern Ohio earlier than the 2021 season. But the 22-year-old struggled to modify on and off the sector final 12 months, and he went the primary 10 video games of the 2022 marketing campaign with out scoring.

On Wednesday, Brenner lastly broke out. Five days after netting the winner for Cincy over Orlando City, his first objective since October, Brenner exploded for a hat trick in a loopy 4-4 draw with defending MLS Cup champ New York City FC.

His second strike came on a bicycle kick, however his final one was most likely the perfect of the lot:

One of essentially the most distinguished soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has coated United States men’s and women’s national teams in additional than a dozen nations, together with a number of FIFA World Cups. Before becoming a member of FOX Sports, the New York City native was a employees author for Yahoo Sports and ESPN. 

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