Trialists and trainees come and go throughout a season, but it was unexpected to see Michael Farfan at Philadelphia Union's practice session on Monday morning.
A source close to the situation said Farfan, the former Union player from 2011 to 2013, was only training with the team and did not confirm whether there was interest from the club or player in signing a new deal.
Farfan left the Union at the beginning of the this season to sign with Cruz Azul in Liga MX. He was released by the club following the 2014 Clausura campaign.
Farfan was one of three MLS players who departed MLS to join Cruz Azul, along with San Jose's Rafael Baca and Los Angeles' Jose Villarreal. Baca and Farfan made permanent moves, while Villarreal was sent out on loan. Farfan signed a three year contract with the club but struggled to break into the senior team, featuring mostly in the U20 side and also making the gameday 18 in the CONCACAF Champion's League.
Philadelphia reportedly received a fee for Farfan's transfer and does not currently hold his MLS rights.
Farfan, and his brother Gabriel, were staples in the lineup during their Philadelphia tenure. A second round draft pick, Mike impressed in his rookie year, scoring two goals and adding three assists in 21 total appearances on Peter Nowak's playoff team. The following year was a bit of a let down, as Farfan transitioned into an attacking midfield role in John Hackworth's 4-3-3. He contributed one goal and five assists in 2,800 minutes over 32 total games. His minutes and numbers were down in 2013, and he finished his Union stint with just four goals and nine assists in more than 6,000 minutes of play.
Despite showing flashes of brilliance and 1v1 skill, Union fans debated if his true potential as a playmaker would ever be unlocked.
Philadelphia currently plays midfielders Cristian Maidana and Vincent Nogueira in the creative role. Danny Cruz and Sebastien Le Toux have been preferred in wide areas.