It wasn't all that long ago that Andrew Farrell and Paolo DelPiccolo were starring on the field at Cardinal Park in Louisville. During their tenure, the University of Louisville men's soccer team went to three straight NCAA Elite Eights and one College Cup final.
On Thursday morning, the duo that many fans came to know as "Salt n' Peppa" through their YouTube variety series last year returned to their college home. Both were present bright and early as this year's Cardinal squad met for training.
As the Cards await this Monday's release of the NCAA tournament bracket, Farrell and DelPiccolo brought plenty of valuable stories with them that they shared during a team meeting that lasted just over a half an hour. They talked to the team about everything from being a professional to how to improve as a player every day.
Farrell was drafted first overall by the New England Revolution, and helped the team to their first playoff appearance since 2009. The former Louisville center back made the transition to right back starting in 32 of the Revs' 34 MLS regular season matches.
"I enjoyed it," Farrell told the team about his season with the Revolution. "We had a good year (in New England), and I think I played well even though I'll keep getting better. The biggest adjustment was the pace of the professional game, so working on tactics was a huge focus for me this season."
DelPiccolo took a different route to MLS, making a brief trip to Frankfurt, Germany for a stint with Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt before eventually landing with the Montreal Impact for the remainder of the 2013 MLS season.
"Living in a different culture was tough," said DelPiccolo to the team about his time in Germany. "It wasn't quite like MLS, and it definitely wasn't like it is here at Louisville. With that said, I learned a lot and it helped me when I got to Montreal, where I got to learn again."
While the two took different paths to MLS after their respective departures from Louisville after the 2012 season, they remain good friends and had some poignant messages for the 2013 Cards. Among those sentiments was a reminder to enjoy every moment of their college careers and work hard in a great soccer environment at Louisville.
"The time that Andrew and Paolo have had with our guys and the experience they've had over the last year is so valuable, and we're glad to have them back as part of the family for the next few days," said head coach Ken Lolla on Thursday morning.
The selection show for this season's NCAA Men's Soccer Championship field will be available on NCAA.com at noon ET on Monday. Tune in and follow the Louisville men's soccer here on the Scoop de Ville, and follow the Cards on Twitter and Instagram (both @UofLMensSoccer), as well as on Facebook.