FOXBORO, Mass. – Andrew Farrell isn't spending too much time contemplating the possibility of a sophomore slump.
Instead, the top pick of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft has set several lofty goals for himself following a strong rookie campaign with the New England Revolution that saw him start 32 games.
“I’m a big Bayern [Munich] fan, so making the All-Star team would be pretty sick,” said Farrell after the Revs' final training session in Foxboro prior to the team’s preseason trip to Bradenton, Fla. “I [also] want to get my first goal, so I can shave my beard. That’s a goal with my brother.”
The 21-year-old defender, who played his college soccer at the University of Louisville, is part of a youthful New England roster that's looking to continue trending upward after making the playoffs last season. Farrell hopes that improvement extends to his own game, specifically in his crossing and attacking game as a whole.
Head coach Jay Heaps, entering his third year in charge and himself a former Revs right back, expects Farrell will be able to do just that.
“I think Farrell is a smart guy,” said Heaps. “I think this offseason was really good for him to sit back and look at the year and now I think he’s really focused on what he can do as a player in this league.”
After playing almost exclusively at right back last season, there has been some talk about Farrell's potential long-term move into the center of defense.
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“I talked to coach on Friday just to see how I was feeling, and he said that he might try me in different spots like he did last preseason,” Farrell explained. “I’m excited to see how I feel back in the middle a little bit … if that time comes. I love soccer, so whatever coach needs me to do, I’ll play.”
According to Heaps, the versatility Farrell provides helps the entire roster.
“When we start talking about players and where they are, some players that’s their position and that’s it," he said. "Players like [Patrick] Mullins and Farrell, guys like [Steve] Neumann, the versatility will help us to be a stronger team.”