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USMNT striker Jesus Ferreira lauds the competition between him and Ricardo Pepi

Jesus Ferreira celebrates scoring a goal against Los Angeles FC for FC Dallas

USMNT forward Jesus Ferreira praises the competition between him and Ricardo Pepi, as the FC Dallas forward appears to be in the driving seat for the No. 9 spot ahead of September friendlies.

USMNT striker Jesus Ferreira praised the ‘healthy fight’ between him and former teammate Ricardo Pepi as they both compete for the team’s No. 9 spot ahead of the World Cup.

Pepi was left out of the squad in June, but Ferreira is pleased to have the former FC Dallas forward back ahead of friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia.

“I’m happy to be able to compete with a guy who will get the best [out] from me,’ Ferreira told reporters virtually Tuesday from the team’s training base in Cologne, Germany.

“I’m happy that he’s back to his goalscoring form. For me, on the competitive side, I want to push him to be the best that he can be, and I want him to push me to be the best that I can be. We have a healthy relationship, a healthy fight. sort of because of the position.

“Every time I come to camp, I want to ‘see him perform.’

Pepi started eight of the 14 USMNT World Cup qualifiers, scoring three goals, and at one point looked the favorite to start in charge of the team in Qatar.

But the 19-year-old lost momentum as he went nearly a year without a club goal after moving to Augsburg, while Ferreira received the initial nod in recent warm-up friendlies and now looks the favorite for the No.9 spot. .

Ferreira is enjoying by far his best season in MLS, with 18 goals and five assists so far, while Josh Sargent also enters camp in good scoring form for Norwich and Pepi recently broke his drought on loan from Groningen.

“We have great competition between us,” Ferreira said of the other forwards.

“Obviously I want my teammates to score in their leagues.”

Ferreria also shared that he has been working with a sports psychologist.

The Dallas forward has been criticized at times for his finishing at the national team level, but this year he has added more of an end product to the other parts of his game that coach Gregg Berhalter admires.

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‘Working with a [sports psychologist] It’s helped me understand that in games, I need to focus more on having a good touch, making sure my pressure is good, making sure my runs are good, making sure I can go down and helping to get my first touch to build – Get out,” he said.

“I just make sure I have a good game before I think about the final product. Thinking about having a good game will lead me to have the final product that is the goal.

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