PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – Michael Farfan’s rise up the domestic player chart has turned positively meteoric, somewhat due to serendipity.
Congratulations, young Mr. Farfan, a guy most U.S. soccer fans still wouldn’t know if you walked up and handed them an autographed soccer ball, you are now an MLS All-Star!
The serendipity part: Chelsea didn’t like the look of an 18-man roster for tomorrow’s All-Star match in suburban Philadelphia. So MLS added three subs per team (now 10 each) and guys will be coming and going on the sidelines like so much subway traffic at the Fulham-Broadway stop back in London. Richard Farley told you about that already.
Farfan is the beneficiary mostly just because of logistic and convenience. He was around anyway, and he had been named to the provisional roster, which the MLS collective bargaining agreement requires.
But that doesn’t mean this fortunate turn isn’t somewhat deserved. Farfan is having a fantastic season at PPL Park, where Freddy Adu no longer seems to be the young, rising playmaker of choice. Now it’s Farfan gig, as the Union attacking midfielder slowly gains ground in the reach for public recognition.
He has a goal and four assists. While those aren’t eye-catching numbers, they aren’t bad for a team that doesn’t score a lot. He was my Player of the Week earlier this month.
The other talker in this story: what it means for Adu.
You remember him, right, the up-and-down former wunderkind of U.S. Soccer?
Farfan already looked like John Hackworth’s creator at PPL Park, and the Union’s interim manager certainly seems to be pushing the right buttons.
And now when the chit-chat turns to “the All-Star attacker from Philly,” we’re talking about Farfan and not Adu.
Yes, I think we’ll need to visit about this a little more.