Armband or not, Farrell ready to lead as 2019 season approaches

FOXBOROUGH — Fairly or unfairly, Revolution right back Andrew Farrell has taken his share of criticism over the first six years of his Major League Soccer career. Whether it be about a bad pass (see also: Montreal on the road last year) an own goal (see also: Columbus on the road last year) or maybe being a touch too slow on occasion, Farrell has weathered it all and has shown the love for the Crayon Crest.

But even with those early-season troubles last year, Farrell went through a metamorphosis as the season evolved. After center back Claude Dielna fell out of favor and lost the captain’s armband, manager Brad Farrell turned to Farrell, the elder statesman of the defense.

And from a certain perspective -- last season's swoon notwithstanding -- a lot of the things which Farrell found himself criticized for in the past turned in his favor. His touches on the ball are seemingly taken with more care. His reactions are half a second faster than in the past. And of course, the two goals he scored last season.

In all, he's looked more grounded as a footballer than he had in his first five-plus years as a member of the Revolution.