Andrew Farrell did a lot of things wrong in his professional soccer debut. And no one around his team really cares.
The New England Revolution defender and No. 1 overall draft pick reminded everyone Saturday why the Revs were so happy to make him the league’s top selection. Farrell started as a right back in the Revs’ 1-0 win at Chicago.
He dazzled enough times to make everyone forget about the mistakes – easier to do, of course, because New England managed to grab the full three points on the road.
Farrell clearly has good pace to accompany other defensive attributes. But it’s that skill and composure on the ball that is most exciting; He’s clearly not going to OK with just hoofing balls forward.
He put a few dribbling moves on display and paired them with some moments of good vision.
Again, there is plenty to clean up in his game, positionally and otherwise. Center back A.J. Soares had to bail out the rookie a couple of times late in the win. And one moment of first-half ball watching allowed Chicago striker Sherjill MacDonald a clear shot from point-blank range. (MacDonald blew it.)
And Farrell will need to acquire that heightened sense of when to pass a little more quickly and when a more safety in the distribution may be required.
One of his outlets efforts, for instance, put New England midfielder Kalifa Cisse in trouble, eventually spinning into a bad turnover and then into a Dilly Duka blast that banged off the post (with a little bit of help from Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis, that is).
It was all there in the 39th moment, when a wonderful bit of skill saw Farrell juggling and spinning wonderfully around Duka … and then running himself smack into trouble by dribbling too aggressively in the center of the field.
Again, he’ll learn. And he’ll be a wonderful player to watch develop.