WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A. – POSTCARDS FROM THE U.S.A.
From: Santa Marta, Colombia
Height/Weight: 5-feet-5, 145 pounds
Birthday: Aug. 9, 1979 (Age 31)
Position: Attacking midfielder
Team: FC Dallas
Contract: David Ferreira, who has been on loan from Brazil’s Atlético Paranaense, since February 2009, makes US$300,000 annually.
What he’s been up to: The dynamic midfielder has emerged as one of Major League Soccer’s top players by recording five goals and a team-high six assists through 18 games. David Ferreira, who also has two game-winning and two game-tying goals, has used his speed to draw a league-leading 50 fouls – at least four more than any other player.
“I still think he’s one of the best players in the league," said Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman, as reported by MLSnet.com. “This team, it does belong to him. He’s a player that makes things happen. If he’s not scoring the goals, he’s assisting on the goals. He’s doing it with great quality.”
David Ferreira has powered FC Dallas into playoff contention with a record of 7 wins, 2 losses and 9 ties for a total of 30 points, good for third place in the Western Conference behind Los Angeles (40) and Real Salt Lake (35). David Ferreira, who is one of the league’s smallest players, was named to his first MLS All-Star team a year after he posted eight goals and seven assists as a rookie.
David Ferreira was loaned to Dallas by his Brazilian team, Atlético Paranaense, which signed him in 2005. David Ferreira also has scored three goals in 35 games for the Colombian national team since joining the squad in 2001, when he helped lead the squad to the Copa América title.
“We’ve really been pleased and blessed we brought him to MLS,” said Hyndman, as reported by MLSnet.com.
David Ferreira drew national attention with he scored on a penalty kick to secure a 2-2 tie against defending Champions League titlist Inter Milan of Italy in Dallas on Aug. 5.
“If you look at the majority of teams who have won the MLS Cup, they’ve had a true number 10; an attacking midfielder who can be a real game-changer,” former FC Dallas General Manager Michael Hitchcock said in a statement. “In David Ferreira, we have a player who has played at the highest level with the Colombian national team, been one of the top players for Atlético Paranaense in the Brazil’s top division. We think he’ll be able to help take this team to the next level and contend for a championship.”
Off the field: David Ferreira gives to his community by being a member of the team’s FC Dallas Foundation.
The group features many charitable programs, including “Kicks for Kids,” during which players and coaches spend time with disadvantaged youth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. David Ferreira also participates in “Get a Kick Out of Reading” a program that promotes child literacy.
Did you know? As a testament to his toughness, David Ferreira has been dubbed “El Torito” (The Little Bull) by his coach, teammates and fans because the combination of his brute strength, physical play and speed, makes him very difficult to guard.
“It affects me a little bit, but I make a big effort to help the team score big points," he said, as reported by MLSnet.com. “I have very good physical preparation. Sometimes I feel the beating, but just thinking about the team, I forget about the tiredness I feel or the beatings I get.”