FC Dallas and the Ferreira family go hand in hand. It’s hard to separate the history entwined between the two families and the role that each side has played for the other.
David Ferreira came to FC Dallas and won an MLS MVP title, took FC Dallas to its first MLS Cup Final, and made North Texas home for his family. A family where two sons play in the FC Dallas system.
Jesus Ferreira, the club’s first Homegrown Designated Player, just recently overtook his father’s goal-scoring record of 25 MLS Goals for FC Dallas. Jesus has made a name for himself not only as the FC Dallas striker but also as the US Men’s National Team striker.
Santiago Ferreria, having been in the FC Dallas system since he was 5 years old, is beginning to make his own mark on FC Dallas paving his own road.
“First of all, Santiago means a lot to me as a person,” North Texas SC head coach Pa-Modou Kah said of his midfielder. “He is a great kid, he is very respectful and we obviously know what his father did and we know what Jesus is doing but I think it’s important that he creates his own path. He’s different to Jesus, he’s different to his father, and for him, I want Santi to be Santi.”
“Sometimes we can get carried away with his last name and what that person has done,” Kah continued. “For me, Santi is taking the right step and he is a very intelligent young man and he knows what he wants to achieve. For me, it’s about helping him, guiding him, and working on him with the next steps. He has a lot of talent and I love working with him. He is a class act.”
“Santi” Ferreira has played in every game and nearly every minute, of North Texas’ 2022 season as a midfielder. Playing for North Texas is just one of the first steps for Santi in his journey as a professional.
“Ever since my dad was playing, I was in the stands,” Santiago Ferreira said. “I always wished on the field. For my brother, it is the same thing next to me. He’s living the dream right now and I’m trying to become that player right now.”
The first steps of Ferreira’s journey started when he first came to North Texas when his father was an FC Dallas player.
“I’ve been here since 2009,” Ferreira explained. “My mom and dad moved over here for FC Dallas and my brother came into the Academy when I was still 5. It’s been a long time from 2009 until now, 2022, it’s been a long journey. I’ve come a long way and I’ve learned a lot of stuff. FC Dallas has helped me become the person that I am.”
As with every FC Dallas homegrown signing, the FC Dallas Academy has played an instrumental role in both the on-field development of the player but also in social development. Current and former FC Dallas Academy players all discuss the family environment and the role that the Academy has played in their lives.
“The Academy helps the players become professionals, from an early age we are at the locker rooms and we all go to the same school,” Santi said of the Academy. “It’s very competitive but it’s such a great experience and environment. I think the Academy does a great job of preparing us for becoming professionals.”
Santi can be described as a quiet yet consistent figure both on and off the field. Playing centrally in the midfield, Ferreria uses his passing, vision, and ball skill to put his teammates in the most advantageous attacking positions possible.
He functions as a central pivot point on the field and serves as a link between the defense and the midfield. Given his attacking abilities, Santi isn’t afraid to contribute to the defense and help win the ball back for his team.
While still young, 17 years old, Santiago has plenty of potential and development time. For him, he wants the be the best version of a person and player that he can be.
When talking about his personal goals, Ferreira said, “I want to keep working hard and become a better player. I want to keep improving to make the first team.”