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Scratching the Chalkboard: Where’s Jesus Ferreira’s best position?

We’re starting to see the full breadth of Jesus’ skill set

MLS: FC Dallas at Sporting Kansas City Peter G. Aiken

(Disclaimer: I’ve been traveling since the beginning of June and unable to follow FCD regularly. I only caught parts of SKCvFCD, so this will be a short piece. Apologies to the six of you who read my stuff. I’ll be back to my normal writing routine at the end of the month.)

Over the weekend we saw FC Dallas take another impressive three points at Sporting Kansas City’s expense. After going nearly a decade without a single win in KC, Dallas has now accumulated a little momentum when it comes to Dallas’ BBQ Rivals.

Luchi Gonzalez opted to make an interesting change due to Paxton Pomykal’s injury and slotted in Jesus Ferreira into the midfield as the team’s primary play maker. Ferreira certainly has the skill set, as he’s often very comfortable on the ball and did a good job finding space between the lines.

Ferreira’s passing chart vs SKC

Ferreira ended the evening with a team high four key passes, which one should’ve really been converted into an assist. (We won’t name names.... yet.)

While Ferreira has a knack of placing a good final ball, he’s not wired to facilitate an attack from the midfield... not in the traditional sense of a true 10. Ferreira can get on the ball, he can find the space and serve up a lovely through ball... what he cannot do (through no fault of his own) is ping the ball quickly to move defenses out of shape. Again, that’s not something he trained for his entire life, so it’s not something that he knows how to do for now.

But with him dropping deeper and having more support in front of him, I do wonder if Chuy’s best position may be a secondary striker. Ferreira of course, is still just 18 and far from a finished product. The ups and downs and relative inconsistent play should be expected from the teenager. Luchi’s done the right thing by continuing to play Jesus and continue to develop him into an elite striker, but I do wonder if pairing him with another forward may take the load off of Jesus’ shoulders and give him more freedom to do what he did to secure the second goal.

Yes, here was a little bit of luck to get the deflection to fall into this path, but you could see exactly what he was trying to do during a pressured situation. There’s something though, about some players who perform better when they don’t carry the burden of leading the line by themselves. They play a little more freely and boldly. Ferreira at 18 might be that player for now and could benefit being a secondary striker alongside Dominique Badji.