FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas Homegrown Jesús Ferreira scored the lone goal in the United States' 1-0 win over Costa Rica in the opening match of the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Ferreira nearly made his mark just two minutes in after winning the ball on the edge of Costa Rica's box but his shot cannoned off the near post. Not to be deterred, the 20-year-old capitalized in the 35th minute by converting Sam Vines' low cross at the back post to put his adopted country up 1-0 in Guadalajara.
Ferreira almost doubled the U.S.'s lead in the 61st minute after latching onto a loose ball in the box but his improvised shot with the outside of his foot went wide. Three minutes later, Ferreira was forced to leave the game after picking up a knock following a 1v1 with Costa Rica's keeper.
"We're just happy," Ferreira said after the game. "We knew that we had to start the tournament strong, and that was with three points no matter what. I knew that as a (No.) 9 I had to help the team in any way and that was scoring the goal today. I'm just happy that I could help the team with a single goal and get the three points. We're ready for the next match."
Fellow Dallas Homegrown Tanner Tessmann (who was added to the U.S.'s roster only hours before the game following an injury to Uly Llanez) was available off the bench but didn't see any game time in the opener.
The victory and three points puts the U.S. in first place in Group A with Mexico and Dominican Republic kicking off shortly after the conclusion of today's tournament opener. The U.S. will face Dominican Republic on Sunday at 6PM before closing out the group stage against rivals Mexico on Wednesday. The top two nations in each group at the end of the first round will advance to the semifinals on March 28. The two teams that reach the final will qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.