FRISCO, Texas – Put MLS defenses on notice: David Ferreira already has eyes on the big prize in 2013.
His ankle is cooperating after a stop-start year-and-a-half, and the Colombian isn't willing to settle next season – personally or from a team perspective.
“The main focus for me is next year,” Ferreira told MLSsoccer.com through a translator. “I’m very happy, and with all the hard work I’m going to be doing during the offseason and preseason, I’m going to be 100 percent like I was before. The goal is to get our team to another final.”
If Ferreira wasn’t 100 percent this season, it’s scary to think what he could do next year. Despite sitting out nearly fifteen months through injury, “El Torito” produced some vintage performances throughout the second half of this season, reminding everyone why he was named 2010 MLS MVP.
The pure numbers suggest that he returned as good as he’s ever been with nine assists over the last 12 games of the season for a .71 assists per 90 minutes ratio that would be best in Major League Soccer. However, it was clear over the last few games of the season that the fumes he was running on through the first ten games were not there at the end of the season.
That's more than understandable according to head coach Schellas Hyndman, who still singled out his playmaker for effusive praise.
“I look at the season and I have a rating that I do for all players,” Hyndman said. “When I evaluate that rating, he did very well. Especially considering that he came back missing half the year, basically the whole year before and then having the huge responsibility of carrying this team.
“We try not to put pressure on him, but it was natural. He embraced the pressure, wanting to make the team better and wanting to succeed.”
True to form, it seems Ferreira is already embracing that responsibility for next season.
And with a full offseason for recuperation and a preseason to get his fitness back up to speed, a potential run at a second MVP for the 33-year-old Colombian in 2013 doesn’t seem too far-fetched.
“I feel fine, but as the season got towards the end, my legs started getting tired,” Ferreira said. “I’m taking two weeks off and then I’ll start training and hopefully next preseason the injury will be completely gone.”