ORLANDO, Fla. – Here we go again with David Ferreira.
The FC Dallas No. 10 limped toward the locker room after the 4-0 victory by his team over USL side Orlando City after playing just a half of soccer in the second Group 2 match of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic on Tuesday night.
It was only his third match back from a fractured ankle suffered in April 2011 and he was the victim of a handful of late hits by Orlando City players that went unpunished by referee John McCloskey in the first half.
“He took a beating today,” said FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman. "He got a lot of kicks in the back of the leg and the ankles and that’s really just a shame."
Last year, many held up Ferreira’s fractured ankle as one example of how the creative, attacking players need to be better safeguarded by referees in MLS play. The theme resurfaced on Tuesday.
“I’m tired of this now,” Ferreira told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “I don’t want to talk about it. It’s their decision when to whistle and when not to. I just try to do my best on the field.
“There is a person that has to establish order and he knows the moment to do it,” continued Ferreira. “I can’t be fighting with him. Whether or not I’m right, I just have to try to play my soccer and help the team to do its best.”
The physical nature of the proceedings overshadowed the emotion of Ferreira’s first goal since his return to action. It came on a fifth-minute penalty kick, which the Colombian converted and subsequently dropped to his knees, pointing to the sky.
“An immense happiness,” Ferreira said. “When I grabbed the ball, it was a great feeling. I was able to convert it and I gave thanks to God for having the opportunity to score.”
It wasn’t just the goal that stood out. As FC Dallas settled down in the first half, Ferreira began threading those through balls -- the "killer passes" that Hyndman was hoping to see from the man who pulls the strings of the attack. The second goal by FCD's Fabián Castillo came on one of those seeing passes.
But now the waiting game begins: Will the knocks Ferreira experienced today allow him to be part of Thursday’s group finale vs. Toronto FC?
“After the game I felt something bothering me but it’s not in the same place [as the ankle fracture],” Ferreira said. “Let’s see how I wake up tomorrow. I don’t think it’s going to be anything serious. I think with a little rest, we’ll wait until tomorrow for me to wake up feeling better and continue with the work I’ve been doing.”