Late addition to roster, Farfan makes most of All-Star appearance

Union midfielder replaces David Beckham, revels in All-Star debut

Farfan Trophy

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

Michael Farfan is normally a quiet guy when talking to reporters.

But the look of excitement on his face was pretty evident on Wednesday night.

After all, the 24-year-old had just played in his first ever MLS All-Star Game, and he was lucky enough to do it in front of his hometown fans.

“It was exciting. It’s something that we dream of as kids, to play against the European champions,” said Farfan after the MLS All Star Team’s 3-2 win against Chelsea. “It’s an amazing feeling, especially to do it at home in front of the Sons of Ben, and all of our friends and family.”

Not to mention, Farfan swapped spots with David Beckham in a 74th-minute substitution.

Did he ever think he would replace a world-renown superstar in a globally televised game at PPL Park?

“I didn’t,” laughed Farfan. “I never thought that would happen, but I’m excited that it did. I was just really happy to be out there with everyone.”

Farfan only played 16 minutes, but didn’t look out of sorts at all. He fit seamlessly into a midfield that included Kyle Beckerman, Graham Zusi, and Chris Pontius.

“Michael, I can’t say enough about that kid,” said Union interim head coach John Hackworth, who served as assistant coach on Wednesday night. “He just comes in and he’s class, you know? His touch is good, he weights his passes good, he fits right in. He doesn’t look out of place at all. I’m really happy for him.”

Farfan became just the fourth Philadelphia Union player to play in the MLS All Star Game. Teammate Carlos Valdes entered Wednesday’s game in the 35th minute. Both were treated to raucous ovations – not to mention cheers whenever they touched the ball.

“It’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Farfan said. “To have all of these fans cheering, it was an amazing experience.”

“It gave me goose bumps,” said Hackworth of the ovations for his players. “It was incredible. It’s fantastic. It was great for our fans to see that, and for them to embrace Carlos and Michael in that way was fantastic.”

The 3-2 victory caps off a week’s worth of All-Star activities in both Philadelphia and Chester.

“I think it’s great,” said Farfan of the week’s festivities. “I think it shows everyone that we have some great fans and that we bring a great atmosphere every day. I think it’ll help for our town.”