Rivalry Week

FC Dallas rejoice: Ferreira, Musa are becoming "more connected"


Jesús Ferreira entered the record books Saturday night, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to score 50 regular-season goals.

FC Dallas' homegrown striker reached that milestone in a 2-1 win over Austin FC, earning bragging weeks in Rivalry Week presented by Continental Tire. Suffice it to say the importance wasn't lost on him.

“I honestly did not know about that, but it's great knowing that now and it’s a great feeling," said Ferreira, who beat previous record-holder Diego Fagundez. "My goal here is to break records and write history, especially create my own history.

"This is the club that I grew up with watching and playing, it has a lot of meaning to me. Knowing my family has a big influence in the club is amazing.”

Milestone aside, Ferreira's 56th-minute goal should offer FC Dallas fans confidence for another reason: Petar Musa played provider.

The Croatian international and club-record signing picked out the USMNT forward's line-breaking run with a threaded through-ball, setting up a breakaway finish past Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

Moments like those reveal the much-anticipated partnership between Musa and Ferreira, two of the club's three Designated Players, might bear fruit after all.

"Game by game and training by training, we are more connected, which is normal because I’m new. But we need to know each other on the field," said Musa, who scored his third goal in the club's past four MLS matches.

"It was a good run by him, I saw him and I just passed the ball. I know that he was close [to the record], so I’m happy for him."

The Musa-Ferreira relationship has had to wait, as the latter player was sidelined by injury early on. And while their relationship is a work in progress, so is FC Dallas writ large (3W-6L-2D; 11 points).

For one night, though, there was a sign of what head coach Nico Estévez's team can become.

“The team had really, really high-level moments in the game that we were missing this season," Estévez said. "We need to be more consistent on that. There are players that have played together for only the second or third time this year. That is important to create that connection.

"The willingness to win the game. The suffering, the sacrifice, and hanging in there during difficult moments. Don’t lose the game because of not being focused or not believing, and being humble to defend when it was needed. It was a collective team win. It’s very united, you can see it in how they battle for each other and how they want to win for their fans and for the club.”