Defense wins championships in any sport, and the New England Revolution are looking to do just that as they make their way through the 2019 season. If they’re going to make a run in the postseason, however, it’ll take a stellar performance from many of the team’s defenders, including Andrew Farrell.
Farrell has been a constant for the Revolution over the last six years, logging the most minutes out of any of the team’s defenders this season, and the second-most minutes on the entire team.
For Farrell, the soccer skills started early, beginning with his childhood in Peru after being born in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I think everybody just kind of plays soccer when they’re younger,” Farrell said. “I grew up in South America in Peru, so the main sport there is soccer. So growing up, being five and playing soccer is like the biggest thing, it’s what everyone’s doing. Playing soccer was what I felt like was the cool thing to do and the fun thing to do, and it’s crazy what I’ve gotten with it.”
The interest in the sport led him back home to the University of Louisville, where he earned All-American honors, was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, and played in a national title game.
“My freshman year in college, getting to the national championship with my team and playing against [Scott Caldwell]’s Akron team,” Farrell said. “We lost in the finals, but it was a cool experience. Being a part of a team that just, going into every game, we knew we were gonna win kind of thing.”
Farrell’s collegiate career led to him becoming the Revolution’s first-ever No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft in 2013, solidifying him as an integral piece of the team’s defense.
The Kentucky native transferred the team’s vote of confidence into loads of time on the pitch, starting 30 games and topping 2,600 minutes in each of first six MLS seasons.
Along with the success from his time in Louisville came the same energy from the fans who love to watch him play.
“My favorite part about the atmosphere, playing for the New England Revolution is the fans,” Farrell said. “They always support us no matter how good or bad we’re doing. New England fans are crazy about their sports, crazy.”
Despite all of the success and time spent on the field, Farrell still makes sure to leave time in his schedule to work with the community, specifically with the team’s partnership with the Special Olympics Massachusetts.
“My favorite part about working with the Special Olympics Massachusetts is probably just the people: the athletes I get to work with and the people in SOMA,” Farrell said. “Everybody I’ve met is just an incredible human being, and all the athletes are awesome. I’ve created bonds with every single one of them and they’re just like family. They’re friends to me, and I feel like if I needed anything or they needed anything, we could ask each other for that and it’s basically family.”
No single story is the same when it comes to the Special Olympics, and Farrell said he’s inspired by everyone he’s come into contact with through the team’s work with the program.
“There’s a lot of different stories,” Farrell said. “Just how welcoming they’ve been to me. Every event that we do, I get to meet new people who are involved with the organization. It just feels like you already knew them way before you even meet them, they’re just so welcoming and so open and they’re just great people.”
The team will hold their fifth annual “Bowl for a Goal” event at Splitsville Luxury Lanes in Foxborough on August 21, which has raised $285,000 to date.
When the event finally arrives, Farrell is looking forward to showcasing his skills when it comes to the pins, and maybe his pipes, at Patriot Place.
“I don’t know if they’re doing karaoke, so that’d be one thing I’d be excited about,” Farrell said. “But just getting to see everybody, the auction; the items they’re auctioning off, I’m always involved in that one. Just seeing all the SOMA athletes that are going to show up and all the people that are supporting a great cause, just mingling and talking to everybody is cool.”
As Farrell and his Revolution teammates continue to strive for victories on the field, the event will serve as another reminder that they’re already contributing to wins off of it.