CARSON, Calif. – Before Wednesday’s game began, Philadelphia Union interim manager John Hackworth had a message for starters Michael and Gabriel Farfan.
“I talked to them earlier in the day,” Hackworth said. “And I said, ‘Look, make sure people at the Home Depot Center know there are a couple of Southern California boys that can play soccer on the East Coast.’”
Consider the message received.
Wednesday night against the LA Galaxy, Michael (above) assisted on the team’s first goal and scored the game-winner in stoppage time, while Gabriel was one of two Union defenders to save a Robbie Keane shot off the goal line.
WATCH: Michael Farfan wins it at the death
The Farfan twins grew up in San Diego and both began their college careers at Cal State Fullerton, about a 30-minute drive from the Home Depot Center.
“It’s always great to be back home,” Gabriel said. “Any time you see friends and family and they get to watch your game, it’s a special day.”
The Farfans made the day even more special, thanks to their memorable performances.
Michael’s first goal of the season, which came in the 95th minute, could not have come at a better time as it propelled the Union to the dramatic 2-1 victory over the Galaxy. Earlier, the midfielder had a great move and cross to set up Jack McInerney’s goal that put Philly up 1-0 right before halftime.
“For Michael, the work he did the whole game, he was Superman,” Hackworth said. “Going up and down, the playmaking, the defending – and then to pull off that kind of classy finish at the end was fantastic.”
Michael Farfan might not have had the chance to give Philly their first-ever win over the Galaxy if not for his twin’s heroics.
In the 11th minute, Gabriel used his body to stop a Keane blast on the goal line. Minutes earlier, captain Carlos Valdés also saved a Keane shot right before it went in to keep the Union in the match.
“Obviously you do what you can to keep the ball out of the net,” Gabriel said. “You’re putting your life on the line. Whether you save it with your stomach, your head, you want to stick whatever you can out there. I think the team did a great job with that.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.