12.7 Marco

FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas solidified an important piece of its backline today by re-signing left back Marco Farfan to a three-year contract with a team option for a fourth year.

Farfan was a major part of the defensive turnaround from 2021 to 2022 after joining the club from LAFC last offseason. The Portland native made an immediate impact, starting all but two regular season matches and playing more minutes than any other outfield player.

Farfan’s presence, along with the transition to a more organized defensive scheme, helped concede the fewest goals in the Western Conference with 37— a whole 19 fewer than the previous campaign. The defensive improvement coincided with a 20-point increase over 2021, as well.

Individually, Farfan enjoyed the best season of his young career. The 24-year-old recorded one goal and four assists after playing 63 games for Portland Timbers and LAFC without registering one in either category. And his underlying stats are even more impressive.

Per Spectrum Stats, among MLS fullbacks, Farfan ranks:

  • Fourth in pressures per game (25.6, 94th percentile)
  • Fifth in sprinting pressures per game (93rd percentile)
  • Fifth in aerial duels per game (2.1, 78th percentile)
  • Second in defensive aerials per game (1.9, 91st percentile)
  • Sixth in interceptions (355, 94th percentile)
  • Fifth in interceptions that led to a shot (46, 96th percentile)
  • Seventh in passes completed (1055, 96th percentile)
  • Fourth in passes completed per game (31.0, 86th percentile)
  • 14th in passing completion percentage (84.8%, 86th percentile)
  • 16th in progressive passes (547, 85th percentile)

Did you read all those stats? Probably not, and that's okay. The point is Farfan was in the 90th percentile or better for six important defensive metrics among all MLS fullbacks. Plus, his passing and creativity improved throughout the season.

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While he may not have the highlight reel of Ryan Hollingshead (the man he replaced on the left side of Dallas’ defense), Farfan’s contributions on and off the ball make him the better fit for head coach Nico Estévez’s vision defensively.

“He's a very intelligent player, He moves very well with the backline,” Estévez said. “He has great timing on adjusting positions—his height and width. It helps him defending and providing cover for our center backs. It all helps the team and the backline as a whole.

“His contributions in attack has grown and it helped us be a better team offensively. Off the field, he’s a very professional player. He gets along with everyone and the club is a great fit for him. He wanted to be with us and it’s important that the club and the player are on the same page. We’re very happy to extend his contract and help him keep developing as a player.”

Today’s contract extension is confirmation of what most viewers expected after watching Dallas’ revamped backline over the 2022 season: Marco Farfan will be a crucial piece of FCD’s defense for years to come.