Can Jesus Ferreira shine as a striker for USMNT?

Gregg Berhalter has shown allegiance to Jesus Ferreira

Gregg Berhalter has shown allegiance to Jesus Ferreira
image: Eric Blum for Deadspin

This is the longest place match for the US men’s national team. It’s basically a forever chase to find a stable striker. Number 9 has been occupied by dozens of Americans, with no real claim to the throne. Brian McBride? Congratulations Altidore? Joe-Max Moore? All had temporary hold on mantle. No one really makes it their own, especially to keep others permanently. When it comes to USMNT in Qatar, it’s disappointing and poor performance.

American head coach Gregg Berhalter called three strikers in his World Cup squad. Obviously there is a choice, Jesus Ferreira, who has been deployed as a striker in most recent USMNT matches. Also in Qatar was Josh Sargent, who had his first real chance to start as a striker, but didn’t do enough to secure another big chance. However, after his efforts in the Championship with Norwich City, he is back in good graces. Sargent received late fan support to start as a forward against Wales on Monday as he is used to the physicality of UK defenders. There was also an outfield shot from Haji Wright, the remaining striker in the 26-man squad.

Berhalter didn’t try a test formation in which his proven best number 11 was thrown on the field, like Tim Weah or Brenden Aaronson playing a fake number 9. One of the three strikers brought to Qatar will start, almost 100% of which is Ferreira or Sargent. If Berhalter’s recent picks are any indication, it would be Ferreira, who has scored plenty of goals for FC Dallas this season. In addition to four points against lowly Grenada, Ferreira scored a goal for the Americans in 2022. Not exactly the form you want a starting striker to achieve. That’s the number of goals Haji Wright would have scored for the USMNT if you had scored away from Grenada.

There are some obvious points of contention when it comes to Ferreira’s choice. Age isn’t a determining factor, but he’ll only be 22 when the calendar shifts to 2023. Perhaps, more importantly, he’s only 5 feet-9 tall. Unless you have an elite skill set, the best guardians at the international level will usually devour any striker under 6 feet. Ferreira did not play well. Also, with so many opportunities he got, he didn’t make any money. Go back and watch the first 10 minutes of the USMNT vs Japan match from November if you don’t believe me. The header extends at the top of the six-yard box. And he drove it over the crossbar.

If we all agree, and you’d be crazy to see this the other way around, that the USMNT’s best point is offense and not strikers, then Ferreira will be tasked with organizing play close to the net. more opponents than most strikers will. If we rank the trio of USMNT strikers in Qatar in terms of their ability to make the opposition open to attack, then he is in last place. I’ll put Sargent second and Wright first. As Berhalter conveniently pointed out after the publication of his roster, Wright played for a team in Turkey that fell short of the starting Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, but scored more goals.

Ferreira is one of the players to whom Berhalter has shown supreme loyalty in 2022, meaning that whether USMNT fans like it or not, he will play a lot in Qatar. Even if he is not the starting striker, he will likely be one of the first substitutes in any match. Expectations for all three USMNT strikers at the World Cup were low. Basically, if they don’t get a red card and fall face down, it’s okay. with the strength of an attacking midfield that the Yanks have. Ferreira will have every opportunity to assert his position as a striker. One sniffing in Qatar and that opportunity will not come back.

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