FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Every team has players who've become pillars of their organization.
For the New England Revolution, one of those pillars is veteran defender Andrew Farrell, now in his eighth professional season – all of which have been with the Revs.
Farrell’s future will continue to shine in Foxborough as the Revolution announced on Wednesday morning that the 28-year-old has signed a new multi-year contract, keeping him in New England beyond 2020.
“I’m really excited,” said Farrell. “It’s something that we’ve been trying to get done for a while. Obviously with everything going on it was tough to figure out some of the details. But I’m really happy to sign an extension here. I’ve always felt like it was a second home for me, from Louisville. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve been through, a lot of different coaches.
“I’m loving it here under Bruce (Arena). I think what we’ve done with the new facility, the new coaching staff and the new players we brought in, the club’s really coming together nicely. I want to be a part of something special and I think we can do that under him so I’m excited to be here and continue my career with the Revs.”
Farrell was selected No. 1 overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft – New England’s only first overall pick to date.
Immediately upon his selection Farrell became a consistent presence on the Revs' backline. Beginning in his rookie year of 2013, Farrell has started at least 29 games each season.
Fast forward to the present. Farrell has racked up quite the stat line from all of those matches, leading all MLS outfield players in minutes played (19,511), games started (219), and games played (221) since entering the league in 2013. That’s not all. From a club perspective, the Louisville native ranks fourth all time in minutes played, fifth in games started, and sixth in games played.
“Andrew’s been an outstanding contributor to the New England Revolution for the last seven years,” said sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena. “He was out of contract this year but we certainly felt that he needed to be rewarded with a new contract. We were able to do that and reach an agreement with his terms.
“We’re all pleased because Andrew has not only been a very good player for us on the field but in the community and the locker room he’s simply outstanding. We’re real happy to have Andrew Farrell with our team for a number of years.”
Farrell has received recognition for those incredible contributions across the board. For starters, he was voted the Revolution's Defender of the Year in 2015, 2018 and 2019 by local media. The defender also represented the Revolution in the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, playing the entire second half against English Premier League side Arsenal.
Arena said it best, though, that Farrell’s contributions aren’t only shining on the pitch, but also in the New England community.
Farrell has always done his charitable work quietly, without seeking recognition for doing good deeds. However, Farrell received well-earned recognition as he was named the club's 2018 Humanitarian of the Year. While he is heavily involved in all areas of community outreach, Farrell in particular has spent years forging relationships with Special Olympics Massachusetts and Binkeez For Comfort, to name just a few.
When the Revs began partnering with Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) approximately five years ago, Farrell became heavily involved with the Revs’ SOMA Unified team. From helping the athletes sharpen their skills at clinics to raising money for SOMA throughout the season, Farrell has developed unique bonds with the Special Olympians and is a constant presence in their lives.
Farrell has forged strong relationships even beyond SOMA and his charitable endeavors. Perhaps the strongest bond, and one of his primary reasons for re-signing, has been with the Revolution supporters, who have truly made Foxborough a second home for the defender.
“I think obviously being here for a long time I’ve gotten used to how people are up here, a little blunter about certain things but I like it,” said Farrell. “They tell it how it is. I think that’s how our fans have been, but they’re unwavering in support in good times and bad. That’s something I really enjoy is the loyalty.
“I just love the people, I love the places around and how hard-working the people are here. That’s something I’ve tried to embrace and bring into my own life. Like I said, it’s like a second home. I love being here.”
As the Revs head to the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida, Farrell will continue to excel as a skillful player and leader on the Revolution squad.