Two of the star players for FC Dallas this season have been called up to the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) to compete in the 2022 FIFA World Cup series. Strikers Jesus Ferreira and Paul Arriola have both been added to the team on the strength of their performances during the 2022 Major League Soccer season as members of FC Dallas.
Ferreira joined FC Dallas through the homegrown talent program. He moved to Dallas at age 10 from his native Columbia and joined FC Dallas in 2016. He became a naturalized citizen in 2019 and has since been called to international play four times.
Head coach Nico Estevez told the media following the FC Dallas vs. LAFC match last week that he thinks Ferreira, who is only 21 years old, is ready for World Cup action.
“I talked with him: You have to be focused on what you can control in the team. If you do well, they will talk of you. But also, he has the confidence from the staff. He has the confidence from his teammates. He has the confidence from the U.S. men’s national team teammates because what he does is really good, and they value his quality.
“To get into the World Cup, he has to do well with us, and he knows that, and he’s showing it. And I think if he keeps doing that, he’ll be ready to do anything that is asked of him.”
Ferreira leads FC Dallas with a career-high 18 goals this season and is only four goals behind league-leader Hany Mukhtar of Nashville SC.
Arriola, who was born in Chula Vista, CA, began his professional career playing with Tijuana in Liga MX before joining D.C. United in 2017. He was traded to FC Dallas in January 2022 and immediately impacted the team’s performance, particularly when paired with Ferreira on the pitch.
Arriola has scored a career-high nine games this season along with five assists, his second most in his career. Two of his assists came last week in the match against LAFC as he set Ferreira up for both scores. In May, Arriola logged six goals in five games.
“We have that chemistry inside the field and outside the field,” Ferreira said of Arriola following the LAFC game. “Whenever we can see each other and sense each other, we know that something’s going to come. So, once I saw him pick up the ball, I knew that there was gonna be a play, and then I got on the end of it.”
Ferreira and Arriola will depart for international play following the Saturday match against San Jose. The USMNT will play a friendly against Japan on September 23 in Dusseldorf, Germany, and then play against Saudi Arabia in another friendly on September 27 in Murcia, Spain. The players will not miss any playing time for FC Dallas while joining the national team.
FC Dallas will play two more matches in October before MLS Playoffs begin. Dallas is currently third in the Western Conference and will qualify for the postseason regardless of the outcome of the remainder of the schedule.