Jesus Ferreira will make his U.S. Men’s National Team debut on Saturday against Costa Rica after completing the necessary paperwork to make him eligible to play for the United States.
U.S. Soccer announced on Friday that Ferreira had made the decision to represent the United States rather than his native Colombia, setting in motion the process to secure the waiver he would need in order to be eligible.
The announcement confirmed Monday’s SBI report that Ferreira had made his final decision to play for the United States.
“I had a long conversation with my family, asking what they thought I should do,” Ferreira said. “We all came to a conclusion that the U.S. has been following me for a while, they’ve seen me, this is where I’ve been playing for a lot of my years. That led towards my final decision to play for the U.S., that they always had me in their thoughts, even when unfortunately, I couldn’t play.”
Once Ferreira notified U,S. Soccer of his decision on Monday, the federation began the process to apply for a waiver to the FIFA statute which requires naturalized citizens to have lived continuously in the country five years after their 18th birthday.
Though Ferreira is just 19 years old, he was able to apply for a waiver that considers cases where players did not move to the country purely for personal soccer reasons. That waiver was granted on Friday, clearing him to play on Saturday, and making him eligible for selection for all future international competitions, including Olympic qualifying in March.
The FC Dallas striker has fared well in first USMNT camp, and will now have a chance to stake his claim to a starting role in Olympic qualifying in March by performing well in his national team debut.
Berhalter also confirmed that New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson would start in goal, while Colorado Rapids left back Sam Vines is another player confirmed to start against Costa Rica.