Just one season ago, Michael Farfan was a finalist for Rookie of the Year honors in Major League Soccer.
Now, he’s an All-Star.
“He’s very deserving and believe me, we know about Michael throughout the league,” said Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman. “He’s a great, great player and he really controls the midfield. I was happy to see him added. He belongs here no doubt."
Farfan was added to the MLS All-Star roster by coach Ben Olsen Monday night after Chelsea FC requested to increase the number of substitutions in the All-Star Game Wednesday night at PPL Park.
Along with central defender Carlos Valdes, Farfan will also represent the Philadelphia Union in the midseason showcase.
Farfan received word from Union interim manager John Hackworth Monday night.
“I think it will sink in at some point,” Farfan said. “It is exciting. It’s an amazing opportunity. It’s nice to see all these faces out here and nice to get to know these guys that we always play against.”
After being selected No. 23 overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft from the University of North Carolina, Farfan finished his first campaign ranked third in voting for Rookie of the Year. He carried that momentum into the 2012 season and has been one of the most consistent players on the pitch.
“He’s deserving of it,” Hackworth said. “As you can see, he fits in well and it’s great for him. I’m proud of him and really happy for him.”
Farfan wasn’t sure what to believe when reached at home Monday night, but his All-Star nod is no joke. The Union midfielder deserves to be among the best.
“It’s funny, when I called him last night, he thought I was joking with him,” Hackworth said. “I called him and told him. His sister was in the background and when she heard, she starts screaming. It’s fun, good. It’s great for him.”
Farfan has played in big events before such as the United States Under-17 national team at the 2005 FIFA Youth World Cup. He competed for the Union in the last season’s first trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs.
And now the All-Star Game.
“It’s amazing,” Farfan said. “It’s amazing to see all their talents, just to be out there with them is extremely rewarding. I’m just excited to be here and be a part of this whole thing.”