CHESTER, Pa. — Gabriel Farfan has done this before, so he was prepared to do it again.
When the Union traded defender Jordan Harvey to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on July 7, a void was created for the club's match in San Jose two days later, and that's where the versatility of Farfan came into play.
Farfan, a natural midfielder, was plugged into the vacated left back position, where he played 90 effective minutes in a scoreless draw against the Earthquakes.
Farfan doesn’t know if the move will be permanent or if he will be moved back to midfield.
He does know this much: He’ll be ready for anything.
“I’ve played left back before and I understand the position quite well,” Farfan told philadelphiaunion.com after training on Tuesday. “It’s not like I haven’t been back there before. When the staff approached me, I was ready. I thought it was fun. I like being on the field and helping my club. We kept a clean sheet, and that was a great feeling.”
There were challenges, however, with the position shift.
“Sure, there are differences in the two positions and I know that,” Farfan said. “You have more of a defensive presence on the field in the back. Jordan played the position so well when he was here. I trained hard for it and was well-prepared when my time came. I’m glad the staff has the confidence in me back there.”
The international transfer window opens on Friday, and the Union are traveling to Foxborough, Mass., for a match against the New England Revolution on Sunday night.
Between now and then, there could be changes to the roster, but Farfan is preparing as if he'll be in the starting lineup once again.
“Changes happen all the time,” he said. “I’m coming to training each day with the idea that I’ll be playing. I’m preparing the same way I always have and listening to the staff. I enjoyed playing left back at San Jose and hope my name is called again. I can’t worry about it. All I can do is come to training ready to work.”
Does he have a preference on where he plays?
“I’ve played mostly midfield, as I said, but I’ve played left back before and I consider myself to be a versatile player,” Farfan said. “I’ve had experience and that helped. If the club needs me there again, I’ll be very happy.”
With another clean sheet, the Union will be happy, too. The club is riding a two-game road unbeaten streak, although both results have yielded only a point.
“We’re confident on the road,” Farfan said. “We picked up a point at San Jose and we’re looking for three more at New England. That’s the mindset that we all have.”