By TYLER DAY
It didn’t take long for Andrew Farrell to show why he was worthy of the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft.
The 20-year old Generation Adidas and former University of Louisville defender was impressive in the Revolution’s opening match win vs. the Chicago Fire.
Farrell played the full 90-minutes and was strong on the ball all night – consistently outpacing opponents from the back. Overall, he showed the qualities that made New England trade up in the draft to make him the first player chosen in the 2013 draft.
“We got a clean sheet, so I think we did our job,” said Farrell. “I tried my best, and there were some mishaps here and there. That will happen – my first game. I’ll just get back Sunday and get after it again.”
Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis had a front row seat for his debut and was impressed with what he saw.
“He didn’t look like a rookie out there,” said Reis, “and that’s probably the best compliment you can give him. He fit right in in his first professional game and did well.”
“He got a little down on himself that he was taking a few too many touches, but you know he is out there playing and he is trying and none of us get mad at him for it.”
Farrell didn’t spend too much time basking in the glow of his debut. Just minutes after Saturday’s win, Farrell was already looking ahead to his second pro game.
“Next week we go to Philly, it will be a tough environment, a tough team to play. I think when the team does well we get clean sheets and some wins – then it’s all going well for me,” he said.
Farrell is one of the early contenders for MLS Rookie of the Year, along with other preseason favorites that include Gyasi Zardes of the Los Angeles Galaxy, and DeAndre Yedlin of the Seattle Sounders. A first-team NCSAA All-American and Big East Defensive Player of the Year while at Louisville last year, Farrell is still adjusting to the pro game, and admits it isn’t exactly an easy transition.
“The pace is a lot faster. A lot of the guys are a lot faster. If you make a little mistake here they’ll make you pay for it. The speed of the game is fast, you know you’ve got to move faster and you’ve got to think faster – and that’s a little bit tiring.
“The last minutes of games you’ve got to stay focused because you can give up one set piece and they score and we come away with one point. But I’m glad we got the three points and we’re going home.”
Farrell and the Revolution will try to keep up their strong start as they travel down I-95 to take on the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.