D.C. United has acquired attacking midfielder Michael Farfan, who played three MLS seasons with the Philadelphia Union before transferring to Mexico’s Cruz Azul in early 2014.
He is expected to join United this week in Austin for the second stage of training camp.
“He is a technically gifted player with very good MLS experience, and he will provide us with versatility across the midfield,” General Manager Dave Kasper said. “We believe that Michael has yet to reach his full potential as a professional, and we look forward to working with him.”
Farfan, 26, fell out of favor with Cruz Azul last summer and became a free agent last month. He had been exploring opportunities in MLS and Europe. As a player returning to MLS, Farfan was subjected to the allocation order. In the No. 12 slot, United claimed him Tuesday. Philadelphia no longer held his MLS rights because the club received compensation in the form of a transfer fee when he left the league.
He is the sixth player to go through allocation this winter. The others were Brek Shea (Orlando), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) and Eric Avila (Orlando). The allocation order applies to U.S. national team veterans and players returning to MLS whose rights are no longer held by a specific team.
Farfan, a 2011 second-round draft pick from North Carolina who played his first two NCAA seasons at Cal State Fullerton, started 68 league matches with the Union. He had a team-high five assists in 2012. His twin brother Gabriel was with the Union from 2011 until early 2013 before being traded to Chivas USA. He is now with Chiapas in Mexico.
United’s addition of Farfan could jeopardize the roster hopes of David Estrada and Andrew Driver, who have been on trial with the club for three weeks.