CHESTER, Pa. – Michael and Gabriel Farfan came into the league at the same time, becoming the first set of twins ever to be MLS teammates. They even made their first starts in the same game for the Philadelphia Union.
And so after Tuesday's trade that saw Gabriel sent to Chivas USA, one would think that it must have felt somewhat strange for Michael to play his first MLS game without his twin brother as his teammate. Following Philly’s 4-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, the Union midfielder said he’s trying to take the change in stride.
“I think we both understand what happens,” Michael said. “It’s not that big of a deal. We’re both okay with it. I’m happy for him. He gets to be home close to our family. It’s an exciting time for him.”
WATCH: Farfan twins' journey to excellence
The only other time the Farfan brothers were apart was when Michael played at the University of North Carolina while Gabriel trained with the Mexican side Club América.
Before that, they joined the US U-17 residency program at the same time and started their college careers at the same place – Cal State Fullerton – in 2006. And after joining the Union in 2011, they lived together, hung out together and blossomed into regular contributors for the Union.
The peak came last season when Gabe cemented his role as the team’s starting left back while Michael emerged Philly’s top playmaker, even making the MLS All-Star team.
“It’s been great,” Michael said. “It’s still going to be great. These past two years have been awesome and I don’t think anything’s going to change.”
Union right back Sheanon Williams joked that he’s going to cut down Gabe’s locker – which was situated right next to his – so he can “make a little suite that the goalie’s have.” But it will still probably be weird to see only one Farfan in the locker room – although, he added, Michael should handle it well.
“It’s his brother,” Williams said. “If my brother was leaving, it would be tough. But he’ll be fine. It’s not like the first time they’ve been apart. He’s old enough to deal without his brother.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.