MLS Spotlight: Farrell enjoys strong start to MLS career

AndrewFarrell (NewEnglandRevolution)

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.

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4 Responses to MLS Spotlight: Farrell enjoys strong start to MLS career

  1. boosted335 says:

    He must of “got off” in the second half because during the first half I didnt see anything to justify the amount of praise he received in the press. It was plain to see that he had ball control skills but he had a gang of turnovers and showed some seriously suspect positioning in the defensive third. I would like to hear some details of what he actually did in the second half but regardless it is refreshing to hear that he wasn’t “basking in the glow of his debut” and was concentrating on doing better. I believe anybody who claims they can do better, I trust nobody who is ever satisfied with their performance.

    • Mike V. says:

      It was just the debut I was expecting — flashes of excellence mixed with some head sctratching. I love that he can wiggle away from pressure and has no fear of moving the ball out of the back on his own. However, there were times he held onto the ball too long and it led to some indecision in the passing game. There were times, too, when he simply tried to out muscle attackers. Farrell just needed to take a little better angle and close space a tighter. But, he did have a couple of timely interceptions and in one instance made a very nice sliding challenge to breakup a through ball that would have put an attacker 1 v. 1 with Reis. Farrell also had a couple of nice passes / crosses in the attacking end of the field that NE simply did not take advantage of. All in all, it was a very good debut. He showed the potential but also demonstrated how raw he still is.

  2. TomG says:

    Sky is the limit for thia kid. He could progress pretty fast. Speed, power, strength, makeup. He seems to jave it all. He just needs to refine his technique. The way the nats are zet up presently, he would make a fine cb in a year or two. I wonder if he will stick at rb. With his strength, he could easily slide inside

  3. Horrible, racist, bigoted Jeremy says:

    Is he staying at RB or projected to move inside?

    He definitely has speed and strength to burn, but doesn’t know what to do with the ball besides run it up the flank. Beats lots of guys on the dribble but follows those up with turnovers. He had some awkward defensive moments too where he had to use his speed to recover.