This morning the Portland Timbers made their fourth homegrown player signing since since joining Major League Soccer, adding former Timbers Academy and Portland Timbers 2 player Marco Farfan to the first team.
A left back by trade, Farfan has been turning heads with his play for T2 this summer, showing that he had the skill to hang with the professionals as he made eighteen starts for the Timbers’ USL side in the 2016 season.
Farfan, 17, has garnered attention at the national level for his play, just recently returning from a call up to the United States U-19 Men’s National Team alongside fellow Timbers academy product Jacob Montes.
While Farfan seems like a probable loanee to T2 for next season, his progression through the team’s system is a promising one for the Timbers as the side look to produce the sort of talent that they can build around in the long term. What’s more, Farfan’s rapid improvement with T2 this season should give Timbers fans every reason to hope that the youngster can continue to improve and might someday soon be vying for a first team spot.
The Timbers’ press release:
PORTLAND TIMBERS SIGN ACADEMY DEFENDER MARCO FARFAN AS HOMEGROWN PLAYER FOR 2017 SEASON
Seventeen-year-old Portland native becomes club’s youngest signing, first Timbers Academy product to sign with club as MLS Homegrown
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced the signing of 17-year-old academy defender Marco Farfan as an MLS Homegrown Player for the 2017 season. Farfan becomes the youngest player signing for the Timbers since their inaugural MLS season in 2011, and the first product of the Timbers Academy program to sign a Homegrown Player contract with the MLS club.
“We are extremely pleased to announce Marco as the first Homegrown Player signing from our academy system,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “His quality and hard work are being recognized, and this signing is an indication of things to come from the Timbers Academy. The pathway through T2, to signing with the first team speaks to the developing vertical integration and investment within the club.”
A native of Portland, Farfan joined the Timbers U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) in 2013, featuring for the U-16 and U-18 Academy teams over three seasons, before being loaned to Portland’s USL affiliate, T2, during the 2016 USL season. This season with T2, Farfan started in each of his 18 appearances, playing the eighth-most minutes on the team (1,463).
"This is a seminal moment for the club. Marco Farfan is the first Homegrown Player to come directly through our academy,” said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. “This bodes well for the future of our young players and reinforces that our development pathway is on the right track. Ultimately, it will be up to Marco but he has the potential to eventually see a role in the first team and we look forward to giving him every opportunity to succeed."
In 2016, Farfan was named No. 7 on the USL 20 Under 20 rankings, serving as the only academy player to be named on the list, while also earning his first call-up to the U-19 U.S. Men’s National Team on Sept. 30. Additionally, the 17-year-old defender was named to the USL Team of the Week for Week 6 for his efforts in a draw against Arizona United SC on April 30.
Prior to joining T2, Farfan appeared in 21 matches (21 starts) for the Timbers U-18 Academy team during the 2015-16 USSDA campaign, ranking in the top 10 for the most games and minutes played on the team. At the conclusion of the season, Farfan was named to the USSDA Best XI for the Western Conference.
Transaction: Portland Timbers sign defender Marco Farfan as a Homegrown Player for the 2017 season on Oct. 14, 2016.
Born: Nov. 12, 1998, in Portland, Ore.
Last Club: T2/Portland Timbers Academy
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed as a Homegrown Player for the 2017 season on Oct. 14, 2016
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