BY: MIRIAM LUDLOW, OSN
With time, we have witnessed athletes jump into the spotlight at young ages. A few to name are: Kobe Bryant, 17 years old when he was drafted by the NBA; Julio Urias, joined the Dodgers, MLB at the age of 19 and who could forget Freddy Adu, drafted by the MLS at only 14 years of age. While they all share the “young professional athlete” status, each of their careers has its own story to tell. Today OSN has the pleasure of giving you an insight view to the life of Marco Farfan, the youngest Timbers’ player.
Marco Farfan was born November 12, 1998. He is 19 years old and attends Centennial High School. A graduate of the Timbers Academy, he is the first homegrown player the Timbers enlist into their ranks. With 19 years of age, one has to wonder where did the dream start for such a young player, but most important how does he balance it all. To give us an understanding of how it all works OSN had a 1:1 with Marco himself.
OSN: What is it like to be in High School and a professional soccer player?
Marco: It’s nice. I need to graduate. I am only taking a class right now; That is all I have left (college English).
OSN: What kind of impact does going to school while playing pro soccer have on your concentration when you are playing? This is demanding, how do you balance that?
Marco: I kind of got used to it since last year. Obviously with T2 I did it, like I said before and last year I was taking more classes than this year so it kind of gets easier as it goes. I switch my concentration if I am at school or at soccer, so I just focus.
OSN: I read that you grew up in a family that loves soccer. So did I. My family breaths, eats, sleep soccer and even some rivalry. What was it like growing up in your family?
Marco: I mean we didn’t have that rivalry going on between us. My whole family goes for the same team, Mexican team PUMAS. My mom is from Mexico City, my dad is from Michoacan. So we would just go to a couple of games when I was younger to PUMAS and every time we would go on vacation we would at least try to make one game.
OSN: How do you get from being a fan to being here?
Marco: I feel like I just stayed focused in soccer. I really wanted to become a professional soccer player, just watching my brother play, so that kind of inspired me. I wanted to be like him and try to be like him or better than him. So with my whole family’s support it helped me focus on soccer and stay away from the bad distractions at school and stuff, so I felt that kind of helped out.
OSN: You are a young player. Most of the players at the Timbers are older, some even parents. What is that like to play with others who are at a different stage in life than you are?
Marco: I don’t know. It is not that much of a difference for me, because I mean, I have my own little nephew at home. My sister lives with us; I take him as my little brother. Just playing with these guys they have kids of their own and I feel their support they have for me. And you know they really help me out when I am in the field with them.
OSN: What is the one thing you have learned the most about so far with the Timbers?
Marco: I feel like I just had confidence, (in my opinion), obviously the coaches, the whole coaching staff, the whole organization and staff have been very supportive. I feel like I have been improving, I feel like I have improved in my defensive work and you know that is my position, I am a defender so that is something I really need to work on every single time and have it down and I feel my defensive work has grown.
OSN: I heard you missed Prom. How was that?
Marco: Yeah. I don’t think many of my friends went. They made this rule you got to have 80% of attendance to go to Prom. So when they made that rule everyone was in shock so not many people went. I already knew I wasn’t going to be able to go, so it wasn’t a surprise. But, I am happy as long as I am playing.
OSN: What can we expect from you for the rest of the season?
Marco: You know I am just going to keep on working hard and obviously try to get better every day and depending on how I do, I hope I do well and it’s up to the coaches to see what they want to do with me.
Marco’s tenure with the Timbers is as young as he is. He has started his career with the right foot, by not only playing but being part of at least three starts so far this season. And yes, while most of his team mates have a striking different life, that is only off the field as Marco goes through the same training regimes and has the same expectations upon him any of the other players have.
Judging by the amount of play time he has earned so far, it is safe to say that not only do his teammates support his talent but Coach Porter trusts him as a player too.
Marco certainly highlights the success the investment the club has put into the Timbers Academy and of course the dedication of producing players ready to step into the professional level at this age.
Marco is known for being extremely dedicated and passionate about his game. His love for the game is tangible and his commitment for sure is one to witness through his game.
Marco and the Timbers play the Seattle Sounders this coming Saturday, May 27, at 12:00 PM at CenturyLink in Seattle, Washington.