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FCD adds Colombian playmaker
by Ridge Mahoney, February 25th, 2009 7AM
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[MLS] The economic realities of MLS preclude many of its teams from acquiring the modern version of a No. 10, one who can spark the attack yet also tend to defensive duties. FCD officials believe in David Ferreira it has a player as capable as one of its former stars, Oscar Pareja, who like Ferreira, is a native of Colombia.

"We first saw David in 2007, when we conducted our first preseason training at Atletico Paranaense's world class facilities down in Curitiba, Brazil and played against him in the first leg of the USA/Brazil Challenge," said FCD president and general manager Michael Hitchcock of annual games and other liaisons between the teams. "At that time, we identified him as a very special player and a player of interest."

Ferreira, 29, was loaned out by Club Atletico Paranaense a year ago and joins MLS from Al-Shabib in Dubai, where he played from February to June of last year. He played 13 games for the United Arab Emirates league champ. An Atletico Paranaense player since 2005, for the club he has scored 38 goals and contributed 42 assists in 175 games.

Coach Schellas Hyndman, who has been in the hunt for a No. 10 since taking the post early in the 2008 season, said, "This is a special player who reminds me of Oscar Pareja. He's very agile, quick and has got a great soccer brain. Technically, he's very strong. I think this is a player that will be a difference maker for FC Dallas.

The FCD boss sees Ferreira as bringing plenty of positives to his roster.

"I see his style as a two-way player who will work on defense," Hyndman said. "He's a very active player. He's not a player that's going to run at the big defenders, but he has the quickness, speed and intelligence to always get into space. We brought him in to be our No. 10, central attacking midfielder with the qualities of scoring goals, unbalancing the opposition and dribbling and passing abilities with penetration."

Ferreira will join FCD during its annual preseason training trip to Brazil, where it will be based at the Paranaense facilities for 10 days. With Andre Rocha, who led the team last year with eight assists, far behind in preseason conditioning, Dax McCarty will slide outside to take Rocha's spot at right midfield and leave the central role free for Ferreira, backed by captain Pablo Ricchetti. McCarty has been offered around the league in trades but with no deal consummated he stays in the preseason starting XI.

"Dax has done a tremendous job for us this preseason," said Hyndman. "We have been very pleased with his attitude, his work ethic and his success on the field. Andre [Rocha] just came back a few weeks ago and he is not playing his best soccer right now because of inactivity for the last six, seven weeks. If he's not 100 percent, then we could be going to Ferreira as the No. 10 and Dax could find himself on the right side. I think we have some flexibility there."

FCD heads to Brazil Thursday for 10 days of training and matches, including a game against Paranaense on March 4. The return leg in the USA-Brazil Challenge will be played at Pizza Hut Park March 14.



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