Growing up in San Diego and honing his skills for the La Jolla Nomads club team, Michael Farfan was a West Coast kid in every way.
He refined those skills for two years at California-Fullerton before transferring to the University of North Carolina for his final two years.
There was talk that the talented midfielder could sneak into the first round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. In fact, many observers considered Farfan a potential top ten selection before a Combine showing that some viewed as disappointing.
Manager Peter Nowak downplayed the meaning of Farfan's performance when speaking with reporters at the draft, explaining that the technical staff was far more concerned with his much larger body of work in college. He considers Farfan a major steal, and the Union happily plucked the two-time All-American with the fifth pick of the second round, No. 23 overall.
Farfan will soon be making his first trip to Philadelphia.
“I’ve never been there, and I’m so excited because I’ve heard so many good things and I got a chance already to spend time with the Sons of Ben,” Farfan told philadelphiaunion.com shortly after being selected at the Baltimore Convention Center. “I spent time over there and they were fun to be around. It’s great having that kind of support. It’s very exciting.”
Farfan’s twin brother Gabriel plays with Club America in Mexico, coincidentally another club that dons Bimbo's logo on the front of their jerseys.
WATCH: Farfan highlight reel
And now Farfan will be competing for the Union.
Before Thursday, the 22-year-old wasn’t sure where he would wind up. He did know that Coach John Hackworth had seen him play and liked his skill set.
“I know coach Hackworth and I spoke to him after the Final Four,” Farfan said. “I’m very happy to find out that Philadelphia is where I’m going to play.”
From the time he was a young kid playing soccer with his friends, Farfan looked ahead to this day. He visualized it. He had dreams about it.
What kid doesn’t?
But to see those dreams come to fruition is hard to explain.
“To experience it is so cool,” Farfan said. “Probably from the time when I was five or six years old, that I could remember, it has been a dream of mine. I’m wearing this Union scarf now, and it’s great. I can’t wait to get started.”
That time is now.
“I don’t exactly what my plans are in terms of moving to Philadelphia, but I know it will all come together soon,” Farfan said. “I’m ready to get to work and start training with the Union. It’s a great situation. I’m very, very excited.”