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FC Dallas signs Jesus Ferreira to a Designated Player deal

The new deal keeps Ferreira in for the long run while rewarding him for a stellar 2021 season.

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MLS: FC Dallas at Austin FC Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Update 1/18/21 - FC Dallas has made this news official. Ferreira has a new four-year contract with a club option for the 2026 season, the club announced today. He becomes the first HGP to sign a DP contract, following in the footsteps of his father who was also a DP with the club. Lastly, he will wear the #10 jersey this season.

Now that the dust has settled on the Ricardo Pepi transfer, FC Dallas is handing out some serious money to some players on the current roster. Today is the biggest so far. Jesus Ferreira and FC Dallas have agreed to a new contract that will make the 21-year-old Homegrown attacker a Designated Player, according to The Athletic.

According to the report, Ferreira will have an average annual salary of a little bit less than $2 million per year under the new deal, which is guaranteed through the 2025 season. Dallas holds an option on Ferreira for the 2026 season.

Ferreria had a stellar, MVP-caliber season in 2021 where he scored eight goals and added in nine assists across 27 regular-season games. That was a drastic improvement over his 2020 numbers that only saw him contribute a single goal and assist in 19 games during a covid-stricken season.

The 21-year old was able to also get back into the US national team picture in 2021 as well when he was called into World Cup qualifying and playing off the bench in the USMNT’s World Cup qualifying win against Mexico and draw at Jamaica in November. He also received a call-up to the USMNT’s December camp, which ended with him starting and playing 70 minutes in a friendly win against Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also has two goals and three assists in five career appearances for the U.S. senior team, all but one of which came in 2021.

This marks the first time that a father and son duo have been DPs in MLS, as Jesus’ father David was also a DP for FC Dallas more than a decade ago when he first came to the team.

The deal has not been officially announced by FC Dallas but given those who reported it, an announcement should be expected by the end of the week.

Our quick take

First off, hell yes. This is the exact kind of signing you want to see the club do. Not only are they taking care of a young guy that, according to the same report, had some European interest following the 2021 season, but you are showing future players that you can rise up through the academy and become a DP-level player with the club.

While I know some fans would rather see the DP tags go to big overseas signings, the club’s track record with those signings has been pretty poor over the years, so why not reward a young player like this with a big contract?

Lastly, this move makes more sense if the club labels him as a Young DP. Based on his age and the way the rules are written about Young DPs, Ferreira would only cost the club $200k towards the salary cap. That would be a very savvy piece of roster work there.