FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas may be the hottest team in the league right now, but on Saturday night against D.C. United (7:30 pm ET, watch FREE on MLS Live) they may have to try and keep a hold on their slim Supporters' Shield lead without the one of the men who has been so instrumental to their early success.
Ferreira, who has started all 10 of FCD's games and factored into a quarter of their 16 goals with one goal and three assists, told MLSsoccer.com that he could play if called upon. The decision, however, is out of his hands as he (along with George John and Andrew Jacobson) will be a game-time decision by FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman.
“The thing we don’t ever want to do is put a player in jeopardy where they may make it worse for the next week,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “If one of them is able to play, that’s great, if all three are available to play, that’s even better. If they’re not, I think we’ve shown we have some depth on this team.”
A key part of that depth has been having Hassli available to come off of the bench, as he did very effectively on Wednesday against Portland. Hyndman called it the Frenchman's best performance of the season and was particularly pleased with how well Hassli and Blas Pérez were able to combine as strike partners.
“You’ve got two very intelligent players, two very skillful players and two very good finishers, so I think they complement each other,” said Hyndman. “The thing is, everything you do, you have to be prepared to give something up. So if the two of them are out on the field together, then you have to give something up and normally you’d give something up in the midfield.
"If you only have one of them up there, then you normally have another player in the midfield. So it all depends on what you’re prepared to give up, but it’s also how you’re able to impose your play onto opponents. With two strikers, it’s a lot harder for those four [opposing] defenders to feel comfortable.”
The duo clearly played well together in the team's midweek 1-1 draw against the equally hot Portland Timbers, as FC Dallas generated 10 of their 15 total shots for the match after Hassli entered in the 53rd minute. Pérez also earned the game-tying penalty in the 76th minute.
Whether Ferreira plays, he says he will be certain his teammates don’t overlook what he called a dangerous D.C. United team.
“It could be one of those [trap] games not only because of how they’ve been playing, but … they are concentrating on taking three points from the league leaders,” Ferreira told MLSsoccer.com through an interpreter. "But we need those three points to continue to build separation between the other teams in our conference.”