Given the high standards he’s set himself, Jesus Ferreira will not be pleased with his performance in the United States Men’s National Team’s 0-0 draw with Uruguay.
The FC Dallas forward is the current MLS Golden Boot leader, scoring nine goals in 14 appearances so far this season, stepping into the shoes of Ricardo Pepi, who departed for Augsburg in January.
Ferreira’s form at club level has seen him win more chances for Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT side. On Sunday, the striker led the line against Uruguay, but missed a couple of golden chances to give the Stars and Stripes a noteworthy win.
First, Ferreira fired straight at goalkeeper Fernando Muslera after being set free by Christian Pulisic, then he headed over a DeAndre Yedlin cross from close range.
USMNT legend DaMarcus Beasley was particularly disappointed with Ferreira’s miss from Pulisic’s pass, accusing the 21-year-old of overthinking things.
“If you look at the ball that Christian gave him on the shot that he took, that first touch got kind of in-between his foot and he had to take another touch to get the shot off,” Beasley said (via MLSsoccer.com).
“If he would’ve took that with his right foot like he usually does in MLS, the angle would’ve been better and it wouldn’t have been so caught up in his foot, and he would’ve slotted that ball in the far post.”
The 2022 campaign has been something of a breakthrough for Ferreira – a striker always lauded for his playmaking ability but somewhat lacking in terms of finishing.
But Sunday was a harsh reminder that the youngster still has a lot to learn. Ferreira will be well aware that he’s battling the likes of Pepi and Haji Wright for the USMNT’s No.9 spot at the World Cup and Beasley’s biggest bit of advice would be to relieve himself of outside ‘pressure’.
“It’s in his head,” he added. “He’s putting that pressure on himself. There’s always pressure from the media from, you know, sure from Berhalter a bit, from the fans, but he’s putting that pressure on himself.
“If he just relaxes and plays the way he knows how to play that ball that Christian played him, that chance he got, that should have been a goal.”