Revolution

Sweeney: The case for Brandon Bye to replace Andrew Farrell

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(Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Forget for a moment that Andrew Farrell is a former No. 1 draft pick; hell, he was the first overall selection by the Revolution in 2013. Forget for a moment his college accolades (Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, NCAA First-Team All-American the same year) at Louisville. Forget for a moment his pure athletic talent.

And forget for a moment the joy he experienced at finally — finally! — scoring his first professional goal in a New England shirt a month ago; the way he kissed the Crayon Crest in his celebration showed us all just how much he truly loves this football club.

Put all of that aside and think ... he is not a true full back.

Farrell found himself put in the right back position out of necessity by former manager Jay Heaps, and he has, for the better part of the last five-plus seasons, not moved out of that slot. Yes, he has been a good soldier: Farrell has made stops at certain critical times, and this year he has shown he can indeed penetrate the attacking third, but there are still too many mistakes — illogical footballing mistakes — at other critical times that have led to trouble for the Revs.

The most recent example came in first-half stoppage time against Montreal on Saturday: a costly giveaway, with his defensive partners flat-footed, led to L’Impact’s first of four on the afternoon.

That is why Farrell, with his love for this club in mind, needs to move out of that right back slot soon. There's nothing wrong with being a super sub.

And who, exactly, would replace Farrell at right back?

That would be rookie Brandon Bye.