Is it time for Jesús Ferreira to test himself in Europe?

Jesús Ferreira celebrates after scoring one of his three goals against Trinidad & Tobago in the 2023 Gold Cup. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)
Jesús Ferreira celebrates after scoring one of his three goals against Trinidad & Tobago in the 2023 Gold Cup. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/USSF/Getty Images for USSF) /
Jesus Ferreira
Jesus Ferreira converts a penalty kick against the shoot-out against Canada in the Gold Cup quarterfinals. (Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USSF/Getty Images for USSF) /

Jesús Ferreira has his fair share of critics within the American soccer community, but almost any time he steps on the field for his country, he performs.

His talent was on display in last month’s Gold Cup, as the forward scored 7 goals in five matches. Given his status within the USMNT squad and that fact that he doesn’t turn 23 until December, a move to Europe in the next year would be a good career move.

Ferreira has been at FC Dallas since 2017, making a total of 132 appearances. His goal-scoring ability saw a massive leap in 2022: a career-best 18 goals in 29 league starts.

The forward has continued to score at a high-level this season: 10 goals in 1,534 minutes. Ferreira has developed into one of the best goal scorers in MLS over the last 24 months, but will he be able to reach his peak while playing in the MLS?

Eredivisie could be ideal for Ferreira

The Colombian-born Ferreira has performed well against most opponents during his time in Dallas. But in the big moments, for both club and country, it has been difficult for him to make a significant impact. So, what can the forward do to change the narrative? If a European club shows significant interest, he should jump at the opportunity to test himself.

It is difficult to envision a scenario where he would be able to thrive in the Premier League, but other leagues provide a certain style of play that might benefit him. The Eredivisie would be a great option for Ferreira, a league known for attacking football. Under the right manager, Ferreira could flourish in the Eredivisie.

And he’d be following in the footsteps of Ricardo Pepi, a former FC Dallas teammate who scored 12 times for Groningen last season. Pepi recently joined Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.

In 23 appearances for Team USA, Ferreira has scored 15 goals, which ranks him 13th all-time already. He became the fastest player to reach double figures for the national team during the Gold Cup.

Sure, one can argue that eight of those goals came against Trinidad & Tobago and St. Kitts and Nevis, but he can only play who is in front of him. It is not fair to Ferreira to hold that against him just because he is able to punish weaker opponents.

With Gregg Berhalter rejoining the United States men’s national team as head coach, it is difficult to gauge his pecking order at the striker position. Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun and Pepi have cemented themselves as the top two players at the No. 9, but is that what the coach believes? After all, Berhalter decided to leave Pepi at home for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, despite his strong efforts during qualifying.

Ferreira has the qualities to be a very important player for the United States, regardless if he plays as a striker or more of an attacking midfielder. But in order to reach his full potential, he must eventually play at the highest level.

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While FC Dallas is one of the better clubs in Major League Soccer, it does not compare to teams in Europe, at least not at the moment. Ferreira’s best chance to stake a claim for the starting striker position with the USMNT is to leave MLS at the end of this season.