One of the perks of SB Nation is having fans of other teams just a quick note away. We like to use what resources we have available here at B&RU, so we reached out to our Philadelphia Union-flavored sister site, Brotherly Game, to give us the low-down on former Union midfielder and new D.C. United signing Michael Farfan. Here's what their Eugene Rupinski has to say about the man Union fans once called Marfan.
Finally an MLS team has more Farfans than the Philadelphia Union.
Congratulations D.C. United fans on landing Michael Farfan. It wasn't too long ago that we saw Mike head out of Philadelphia to the greener pastures of Mexico City to play for Cruz Azul. Farfan had been a starter here for most of his time since being drafted in the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Under Peter Nowak he blossomed into a threat down the right wing, and helped the Union make the playoffs for the only time in club history. The apex of his time with the Union was probably this golazo against Real Madrid in the World Football Challenge.
As promising as 2011 was, dark times were ahead for both the Union and Farfan. In 2012, Nowak went insane and was fired. John Hackworth came in and tried converting Farfan into a central attacking midfielder, which didn't work out so well. Farfan is great at working the touch line and making a cut in on goal, but he's not so good at trying to hold the ball and dribble through traffic - something Hackworth wanted him to do with little success. It was at the end of a frustrating 2013 campaign that Farfan was sold to Cruz Azul.
It was thought that a change of scenery would do him well, and that perhaps Liga MX would be a good showcase for his talents, but it turned out not to be. Farfan only saw one match for Los Cementaros, coming on in the 77th minute against Pachuca and scoring a stoppage time goal to salvage a draw for Cruz Azul. (Jump to the 10:35 mark.)
He was released from the club in 2014, just six months into his three-year deal. He's been without a club since, although he did work out with the Union at the end of last season.
Hopefully Ben Olsen can get Farfan back into a system that suits him. He's a gritty player who has a definite nose for goal, and as long as he's played in position D.C. United should reap the benefits of his services.