There's this weird phenomenon around Jesus Ferreira, one that has bled through from the most toxic sections of social media. If he doesn't score for the United States men's national team, he's deemed not good enough. If he scores too many, the opponents weren't good enough. There's no celebrating, no respect, no joy to any of it.
His new nickname, even, is tongue-in-cheek. 'The Pirate of the Caribbean', they're calling him due to his relentless desire to absolutely light up some of CONCACAF's smaller teams.
Ferreira did so again on Sunday night. He absolutely demolished Trinidad & Tobago, leading the U.S. to a 6-0 Gold Cup win with a second consecutive hat-trick. And, because of that, it's time to give him his flowers.
The detractors will live on, of course, but let them. Ferreira has had them for the better part of a year, and he's responded with goal after goal. For years, the U.S. has been looking for someone, anyone who can score consistently. Ferreira is now proving that he can. They could have used that in the 2018 cycle, that's for sure.
Has it come against the world's elite? No, and that's fine. At the international level, a coach needs different tools at his disposal. Maybe Folarin Balogun's the player to be used in big games, and Ferreira's is the man to be used in the moments where the U.S. is expecting to dominate. For years, the U.S. had no tools at striker; now they have a few, and that's always a good thing.
With his hat-trick performance, Ferreira was an obvious winner for the USMNT on Sunday night, and GOAL is here to break down the rest of the winners and losers from the Gold Cup group-stage finale:
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