The Revolution selected defender Andrew Farrell from the University of Louisville with the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft Thursday.
It is the first time in the 18-year history of the event that the Revolution had the top pick. They acquired it in a trade with Toronto, swapping the fourth overall selection and allocation money.
“I’m excited,” Farrell said. “I couldn’t stay away from the mock drafts. Obviously I want to be the first guy off the board, and New England is a great organization.”
Farrell, 20, was the 2012 Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American. He anchored the Cardinals defense, which allowed just 0.62 goals per game in league play, and he has been the consensus No. 1 pick all year.
The Revolution were 9-17-8 in the 2012 season and are in need of an impact player.
“We’re very pleased to add Andrew to the Revolution,” said general manager Michael Burns. “We believe he is the best player available in this draft class and proactively made the deal with Toronto to move up the draft order so we could ensure he was available when we picked.
“We’re looking forward to getting him into camp with us and getting him acclimated to the Revolution. We believe he has a very bright future with our club and in this league.”
The versatile Farrell can play center back or right back.
“Wherever the coaches want to play me, it’s their call,” said Farrell. “I don’t have any preferences. I can bring speed on the outside, depth within the center and outside back positions.”
Farrell seems unfazed by the pressure of being a first overall selection.
“There’s pressure for everybody,” he said. “A new season starts and everybody has to get ready to play.”
Farrell is excited that the coaching staff believes he could make an impact right away.
“Obviously, everybody can learn something,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to meeting the guys and seeing what I can learn from them.”
The Revolution selected three players in the second round: forward/midfielder Donnie Smith from UNC-Charlotte (21st overall), forward Luke Spencer from Xavier (23d), and goalkeeper Luis Soffner from Indiana (36th).
University of Connecticut midfielder Carlos Alvarez was taken by Chivas USA with the second overall pick, and Toronto (which moved up a spot in a trade with Portland) then selected Kyle Bekker, a Canadian midfielder from Boston College.
Los Angeles selected BC forward Charlie Rugg with the 19th pick.
Northeastern forward Don Anding was drafted in the second round by Philadelphia, the 26th overall pick.
Defender Dylan Remick of Brown was taken at No. 35 by Seattle.