As fierce a competitor as he is on the field, there’s an added sense of pride for Phoenix Rising FC’s Joey Farrell in being able to put that to good use in the virtual realm while we wait for the 2020 USL Championship season to return.
Rising FC’s captain for the USL eCup: Rocket League Edition told the USL’s Kelsi Steele in a one-on-one conversation on Friday that competing to raise money for the Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund meant a great deal to him as he and his teammates stay safe in their homes during the current time.
“It’s amazing, especially at this time in our world and our country, there’s not much you can do for others in a sense of an actual helping hand,” Farrell told Steele. “Being able to raise money for COVID-19 responders in Arizona is amazing because the first responders right now, the medical staff and everyone else are the ones saving our country, they’re the ones for the next month or so putting themselves at risk, putting their family at risk because it’s their job.
“Me being an athlete, I want to be able to use my competitive spirit for good and use my voice for good, so being able to play from the comfort of my home and being safe there as well as raise money, and raise awareness, and raise support for these responders, it’s a great feeling.”
Of course, Farrell is also hoping to make a deep run in the tournament as well. As someone who entered the event with plenty of hours of Rocket League play under his belt, an adjustment in strategy has been required playing the one-on-one version of the game instead of with teammates.
“I know one in particular is you have to use your boosts sparingly, and you’re always picking up more boosts,” Farrell said. “Especially in the one-on-one in Rocket League it’s all about either the fast break and capitalizing on someone’s mistake, or it’s about being patient and waiting for your moment to boost and beat your opponent one-on-one.
“The tipoff is crucial on one-v-one because the game starts and you can go flying all the way down to the other goal if you miss the ball and you just leave your net wide open … and that’s a little different to the two-v-two or three-v-three because you always have that cover behind you.”
Farrell will return to action in the virtual arena on Tuesday evening when he takes on Toronto FC II at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN3.