The organization confirmed a permanent transfer for Farfan to Cruz Azul in Mexico’s Liga MX. The 25 year-old finished his run with 82 total appearances for Philadelphia over three seasons but struggled to find his stride, coming up with only four goals and nine assists.
“Michael has been an important member for our club both on and off the field over the past three years,” team manager John Hackworth said. “We thank him for his contributions and wish him the best of luck as he continues his career in Mexico.”
Farfan was a starter at the beginning of the season but had fallen out of the team’s steady rotation, starting only five of the last 10 games. His lone goal of the 2013 season came off of an indirect kick July 12 against Chivas USA. He also tallied one assist against Montreal, May 25th, in a 5-3 loss.
Farfan was a Rookie of the Year finalist in 2011 after he was drafted with the 23rd pick by Philadelphia. He will be remembered for two moments in Union history: scoring the only goal against Real Madrid at Lincoln Financial Field in front of more than 57,000 people and for representing the Union in the 2012 MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park.
The Union were already in need of some midfield help, but this move makes it a dire need. They might look to address the position early in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 16th with one of their eight picks. Philadelphia has the second (via Chivas USA in the Gabriel Farfan trade), sixth, 25th, 27th (via Chicago in the Bakary Soumare trade), 44th, 46th (via Toronto from Chicago in the Chris Konopka trade), 52nd (via Los Angeles in the Chandler Hoffman trade) and 63rd picks in the draft.
There are already a couple of different faces in the mix for the midfield slots in 2014, though there is no guarantee either are starters. Philadelphia recently picked up midfielder Corben Bone with the sixth overall selection in Stage 1 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft earlier in December. The 25 year-old was little used in his time with the Chicago Fire, drawing eight starts in 18 regular-season appearances. He tallied one assist in 677 minutes on the field. Also returning is 18 year-old Zack Pfeffer, Philadelphia’s first homegrown player, who spent 2013 on loan to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. He scored two goals in nine games.