Jason Farrell has stepped away from Ballard FC to pursue a new opportunity. Just like USL2 provides a platform for players as they progress in their careers, it provides a similar one to coaches. Although we are sad to see him leave, we could not be more excited for Coach Farrell as he moves forward in his career.
For the remainder of the season, Assistant Coach Ethan O’Neill will take over as Interim Head Coach.
Ballard FC thanks Coach Farrell for all that he has done for the club. From being practically the first employee to now clinching playoffs for a second straight season, we could not have asked for more. Some of the highlights under Coach Farrell include:
- Western Conference Finals appearance in our first season
- Clinched 2023 playoff berth in June
- 18-4-3 (W-L-T) career USL2 record
- 2.28 career points per match
- Achieved top ranking amongst over 120 USL2 clubs
- Career +40 Goal Differential
One of Coach Farrell’s greatest accomplishments has not been on-field success, but in helping players move on to the next level. For example, just this last week, Alex Mejia signed with a professional club in Honduras. Reflecting on this dynamic, Farrell remarks, “We have had guys move on over the past year and I have always thought of these as success stories; moves that should be celebrated by our club and our fans. Never did it cross my mind that I would be moving on.”
A true Seattle Soccer legend, Coach Farrell has seemingly done it all in the Emerald City. The Shorecrest High School graduate played college ball at both the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University before his professional career that included two stints for the Seattle Sounders. Ballard FC is honored to be part of Coach Farrell’s Seattle Soccer story as it only continues to grow.
As we thank Coach Farrell for his time with Ballard FC, we cannot forget the fans who have made this all possible. Coach Farrell thanked the fans and Ballard community, stating, “A soccer team is just a group of players kicking a ball in (hopefully) the right direction. What the supporters have done, however, is elevate this project to something else entirely.” Farrell continues, “Because of you, this club has become a community asset…something that has a life of its own and has given so many in our area something to rally behind and call ‘theirs.'”
In terms of the Ballard FC staff, there is nothing but praise for Coach Farrell. Ballard FC Co-Founder, Chris Kaimmer, had this to say about Farrell, “Jason has been one our club’s secret weapons since the moment he emailed us within just days of our public launch. He lives right here in Ballard with his family and has always understood how unique our community is because he lived it long before joining Ballard FC.” Kaimmer continues to talk about Farrell’s commitment to not only the sporting side of things but also the community side as well. “Whether it was practice or taking down sponsor boards with the gameday crew, Coach Farrell was fully invested.”
Ballard FC General Manager and Co-Founder, Sam Zisette, said this about Farrell’s time as head coach, “I am so, so grateful for the time we had with Jason and all that he did to build our organization into what it is today. Jason understood our vision for creating a club that provides players and fans with a professional-level experience and he pushed that vision to new heights every day. While we are obviously sad to see him go, we also can celebrate that Ballard FC is achieving one of its goals as a stepping stone club to push our people on to new opportunities. We’ll miss Jason greatly and will be forever grateful to him for setting such an incredible standard for our club.”
In terms of the immediate future, Coach Farrell is confident that Ballard FC will continue to have success on the field. Farrell states he has, “no doubt that the team will not miss a beat going forward.” Reinforcing his belief in his coaching staff, Farrell goes on to say, “In their own unique ways, each (Ethan, Amadou, and Ben) is a far better coach than me and the players will reap the rewards of that even more now!”
Interim Head Coach Ethan O’Neill is a UEFA A-licensed coach who coaches club soccer at the ECNL level with Seattle United and is the Director of Player Development. O’Neill formerly coached at Seattle Celtic where he also served as Academy Director and Head of Coach Development. Before coming to Seattle, O’Neill spent time coaching in Ireland, including running summer camps for the Football Association of Ireland. O’Neill started as an assistant coach this year with Ballard FC and has taken on a very tactical role under Coach Farrell. Because of this, the tactical transition from Farrell to O’Neill will be smooth.
O’Neill’s first test will come this Saturday, July 8th at Interbay Stadium in a friendly against Cultures United. O’Neill’s first USL2 league test will not come until next week as Ballard FC travels to Salem to take on CFC Atletico on Wednesday, July 12th. With Ballard and CFC atop the division standings, O’Neill could have quite the first match on his hands.