12.16 Jesus Citizenship DL
USA Today

Jesus Ferreira Earns U.S. Citizenship and US Men's National Team Eligibility

FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas Homegrown and 2019 top scorer Jesús Ferreira became a U.S. citizen today, Dec. 16, making him eligible to represent the U.S. internationally, in addition to his native Colombia.

“I’m happy,” Ferreira said. “I’m happy that now I can represent a country. For a long time, in my head I was trying to represent Colombia but never go the opportunity to get a call up. But now that I’ve become a U.S. citizen, I’ll get more call ups to the (U.S.) national team and I’m happy because I want to represent a country. I’ve been living here for a while now, so I feel like this is my home.”

Ferreira – who scored eight MLS goals in 2019 and recently signed a long term contract with FCD – has been involved in U.S. National Team camps at three different age groups including the U-23s earlier this year. But, because of his lack of citizenship, the forward was never been able to represent the country in actual matches.

Although the camps themselves were a good experience, Ferreira is eager to contribute in competitive games.

“Sometimes when I used to go to (youth USMNT) camps I wouldn’t be able to play I had to sit on the sidelines and that hurts a little bit,” Ferreira admitted. “You see your teammates out there playing against another country which I’ve always dreamed of, and now that I get to go to camps and actually be able to play against other countries that makes me happy.”

Now a duel citizen, Ferreira has a big decision looming on the horizon. Although he has yet to receive a call up from Colombia, the 18-year-old has not shut the door on playing for the nation of his birth.

“That’s a big point and I’ll have to make a decision,” Ferreira said. “But that’s part of the game. I have to think about it and make a decision about what country I want to represent.”

Soccer implications aside, Ferreira’s citizenship is a milestone for his family.

“They’re all happy for me,” Ferreira said. “My little siblings now want to see when they can become citizens. My brothers always want to represent a country and they’ve been living here most of their lives, so this is their home pretty much. For them to go to a national team camp, that would be amazing for us. And them seeing that I am able to do that, it encourages them and pushes them to do the same.”