New England Soccer Today

Farrell Credits Soehn for Improved Crossing

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Crossing has never been Andrew Farrell’s forte. But after collecting assists in each of his last two games, it’s clear the fifth-year defender has been working on it.

After he effectively became a non-entity in the attacking half during the first half of the season, Farrell decided to focus on improving his passing with help of Revolution assistant Tom Soehn.

“The outside backs and the forwards, they’ve been making those runs all year, and we just want to make sure we can find the ball and get them the goal,” Farrell said. “So the past couple of weeks, we’ve been working on that more. Those guys, Teal [Bunbury] last week, Kei [Kamara] this week finished the chances, so that’s huge for us.”

Indeed, having a fullback that can cross is crucial for a team whose offense is predicated upon stretching the field. For years, the Revolution relied almost entirely on left back Chris Tierney to get forward and launch a dangerous pass.

But with Tierney’s playing time waning this year, Farrell’s struggles became impossible to ignore. So Farrell and Soehn decided that enough was enough.

“I want to credit Tommy Soehn 100 percent on that, for continuing to get Andrew [Farrell] to get into those positions and to get his head up and pick out runners and make good passing,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “That was something that Tommy and I, we talked a lot about, was how to approach Andrew to continue to work on it. And Tommy’s found the right way of connecting with him.”

That relationship paid dividends in last week’s wild 4-3 win over the Galaxy. In the waning stages of a back-and-forth affair, Farrell set up the game-winner to help the team snap a four-game winless run.

On Saturday, the right back found Kamara for an insurance goal in the 85th minute, giving the Revolution a much-needed boost late.

The biggest lesson Farrell’s learned from Soehn in recent weeks?

“You know, look through my reads, like a quarterback does,” Farrell said. “Find the near post, the back post, and then the pull back. Both times, I looked for the pull back, because if the defender is committed, he’s going to commit to Kei, and the pull backs on last week to Teal, and this week Kei pulled back, and they put the ball in the net, so it felt good to get that one.”

While Farrell’s still searching for his first MLS goal, he’s happy to contribute to the team’s recent turnaround.

“(It) feels good to—that’s something I’ve struggled with in my history,” Farrell said. “But just working on that this week, the past couple of weeks, to finally come to fruition, it feels really good.”

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