|Colorado 2||FC Dallas 1|
|Did You Know?|
|David Ferreira was born and raised in the same city as another former MLS MVP, Carlos Valderrama. The two hail from Santa Marta, Colombia, where they play pick-up soccer in the offseason.|
On the surface, David Ferreira looked calm, collected, focused and determined.
He was a near perfect portrait of stoicism as FC Dallas stepped into the icy 45-degree playing conditions – the coldest ever for an MLS Cup final – to take on the Colorado Rapids on Toronto’s BMO Field, the venue for the 2010 championship.
On the inside, however, the Colombian playmaker was hurting.
Accustomed to the scorching temperatures typical of a Dallas summer, Ferreira’s health fell as fast as the mercury in a thermometer when the team landed in Toronto ahead of the final.
“I was feeling a bit ill,” confessed Ferreira nearly a year after the match. “My body didn’t feel good, I had no strength because, when we arrived in Toronto [for the match], the cold really affected me. I played the match with a fever, a little weak.”
“When we went in at halftime, he couldn’t stop coughing,” recalled FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. “He had a coughing spell. His throat was hurting, he was not feeling his best, the cold weather was bringing the worst out of him. But you never would’ve known what he was dealing with.”
As the centerpiece of the team and the newly crowned league MVP, Ferreira knew he had no choice but to suck it up. After all, FC Dallas’ entire season had been about battling and clawing. “Refuse to Lose” was the team’s motto, and they had used it as motivation to set an MLS-record 19-game unbeaten streak and leave favorites Real Salt Lake and mighty LA Galaxy in the playoff dust en route to the final.
“No, I wasn’t feeling well,” said Ferreira, “but when I thought about all the hard work the team had done throughout the season, we all had to give it our best to achieve the objective.”
“[David] carried so much of the team on his shoulders that year,” Hyndman said. “He really wanted this team to win. The guy takes more pride in what the team does than what he does. He’s always been that kind of a guy.”
Each side refused to break down for the first half-hour, but in the 35th minute, in a flash of brilliance, Ferreira blew past the Rapids defenders and latched onto a cross from Marvin Chávez for the opener, a goal that was immediately admitted into the pantheon of the best goals in MLS Cup history.
“The ball was played out wide to Chávez, who was running on to it,” recounted Hyndman. “We all know Chávez is an intense, quick player. He served an early ball, the ball beat the last man on defense [Colorado’s Drew Moor] and it was bending away from the goalkeeper. David ... broke the line and anticipated where the ball was going to go. It was a brilliant goal. You don’t see a lot of goals like that in the final.”
Ferreira immediately burst into a joyous celebration, running down to the corner flag before being mobbed by his teammates. For him, scoring wasn’t a plus – it was a must.
“I felt a huge responsibility to the team, the city, to myself,” said Ferreira. “I went into the match thinking that I had to help my team win the title. When I scored the goal, it was incredible.”
Unfortunately for Ferreira and FC Dallas, their celebration was short-lived. Colorado would fight back to equalize in the second half and would go on to score the winner in overtime to claim the MLS Cup.
It wasn’t the storybook ending to FCD’s storybook season. And despite the overwhelming feeling of disappointment that flooded the Dallas locker room, Ferreira, who fell to tears following the defeat, can take solace in one thing: the effort put forth by him and the team that day and throughout the entire season.
“I would’ve felt even sadder had I not given it my all,” he said. “The loss was definitely disappointing ... [but] we have to rescue the positives the team accomplished. We would’ve liked to have wrapped it up with a golden bow, but the most important thing is that we showcased FC Dallas.”
That’s Ferreira for you: always about the team.