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Brad Friedel named New England Revolution coach

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Brad Friedel has made a speedy transition into head coaching.

The 46-year-old legendary U.S. national team goalkeeper was named the new head coach of the New England Revolution on Thursday and will be unveiled alongside Revolution President Brian Bilello and GM Michael Burns next Monday.

Friedel played for the likes of Liverpool, Aston Villa, Blackburn and Tottenham in an illustrious 25-year playing career and since he retired in 2015 he has been involved with coaching the U.S. youth teams and has been the head coach of the U.S. U-19 side since January 2016.

Speaking about this appointment as the new boss of the Revs, Friedel is excited to start his managerial career as Mike Lapper and Marcelo Neveleff have been named as his assistants.

“My staff and I are delighted and honored to have been hired by the New England Revolution,” Friedel said. “I can guarantee that we, the staff and players, will give 100 percent commitment to the club and our fans while looking forward to all the challenges ahead. We can’t wait to get started right away building this club for the 2018 season.”

Friedel has his UEFA “Pro” licence and has been building towards this moment for some time.

As for the ‘Revs, they’ve been without a head coach since Jay Heaps was sacked in September. Heaps’ six seasons in charge saw plenty of improvement initially as they reached MLS Cup in 2014, but New England finished one place and five points out of the MLS playoffs in 2017 and now Friedel will try and help them compete in 2018 and beyond.

There isn’t a whole lot wrong with the Revs as the likes of Juan Agudelo, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe and Andrew Farrell will all be key players and despite uncertainty around the future of a soccer-specific stadium in Boston, they have the potential to challenge in the East.

Given Friedel’s vast experience in the game, the Ohio native was always planning to move into coaching and he has done his apprenticeship with Tottenham’s academy and the U.S. setup over the past few years as he helped out various youth teams in many roles.

From his 13-year career with the USMNT (he was in the USA’s World Cup squads for 1994, 1998 and 2002), Friedel spent 17 seasons in the Premier League and has worked as a TV analyst for FOX, the BBC and many others in recent years. His credentials and experience are undoubted and perhaps unrivaled in terms of the American soccer community.

Still, New England handing him the chance is still a slight surprise.

Friedel is an impressive character who has taken on every challenge which has faced him head on. This is a new challenge and it will be intriguing to see how he gets on. The aim for the Revs next season simply has to be to get back into the playoffs and anything else is a bonus.

Report: Longtime USMNT, Premier League GK Friedel to take Revs job

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Longtime Blackburn, Aston Villa, and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel is leaving his TV gig to take the reigns of MLS side New England Revolution.

Rumors of the move have been confirmed by a report from Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep, who says the Revs turned to Friedel after also discussing the job with ex-USMNT boss Bruce Arena.

[ MORE: Robbie Rogers retires at 30 ]

The 82-times capped Friedel’s only management experience comes with the United States U-19 side, and he played with Columbus from 1996-97 in MLS.

As a goalkeeper, Friedel won the League Cup with Blackburn in 2002 and the 1996 Turkish Cup with Galatasaray. He made the 2002-03 PFA Premier League Team of the Year, and has won MLS and U.S. Soccer annual awards.

Jay Heaps led the Revs from 2011 until late this season. Under his stewardship, the Revs went to the 2014 MLS Cup Final but lost in the first round of the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs before finishing seventh in the East after each of the last two seasons.

Friedel would not be the first Premier League veteran to lead the Revs, as Steve Nicol and Frank Stapleton held the post.

Reports: Brad Friedel likely to be named next Revolution coach

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There were several coaching vacancies throughout Major League Soccer this season, and it appears the New England Revolution are closing in on their next manager.

[ MORE: Sounders closing in on new deal with Dempsey ]

ESPN’s Taylor Twellman is reporting that former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper and current U.S. U-19 head coach and FOX soccer analyst, Brad Friedel, will be the successor to Jay Heaps — who was fired by Revolution in September.

Friedel is believed to have a close relationship with Revs general manager Michael Burns.

The 46-year-old is well known throughout the U.S. Soccer community after making 82 international appearances for the USMNT and starting for several Premier League sides, including Liverpool, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers.

MLS Snapshot: TFC lose late in NE; Shield celebration delayed

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The game in 100 words (or less): All Toronto FC had to do to clinch the 2017 Supporters’ Shield on Saturday was beat the New England Revolution, a side that had suffered back-to-back defeats by a combined score of 10-1 and fired head coach Jay Heaps on Tuesday. Instead, because this is MLS we’re talking about, the Revolution were galvanized and full of fighting spirit backed their way into a 2-1 victory over TFC in a game that saw all three goals scored during a five-minute period beginning in the 82nd. The Shield celebration will have to wait at least another week, with TFC hosting the New York Red Bulls next Saturday. The chance to clinch and celebrate at home will almost have been worth it. Still, the gap between TFC (62 points) and second-place New York City FC remains 10 points with just three games to go (NYCFC have a game in hand). The Revs, meanwhile, are four points out of the Eastern Conference’s sixth and final playoff place, and have played two more games than the sixth-place Red Bulls.

[ MORE: MLS weekend preview — ATL host MTL; RSL desperate vs. SEA ]

Three moments that mattered

82′ — Nguyen wrong-foots Irwin with a lucky deflection — It’s been a long, turbulent season for the Revs, so they were probably owed this bit of good fortune (and quite a few more).

84′ — Hasler gets on the end of Bradley’s ball for 1-1 — It’s been a long, turbulent season for the Revs, and they’ve grown used to unfortunate breaks like this.

87′ — Kamara rises up, heads home the winner — It’s been a long, turbulent season for the Revs, one without nearly enough alley-oops to Kamara.

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Man of the match: Lee Nguyen

Goalscorers: Nguyen (82′), Hasler (84′), Kamara (87′)

Jay Heaps out as New England Revolution boss

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Jay Heaps’ six-year reign at the New England Revolution has come to an end.

On Tuesday morning New England released a statement saying they had “parted ways” with former defender Heaps who took charge in November 2011.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Heaps led the Revs to the 2014 MLS Cup final where they lost in overtime to the LA Galaxy, while he made three-straight trips to the MLS Cup Playoffs to kick off his managerial career and he also led the Revs to the 2016 U.S. Open Cup final where they lost to FC Dallas.

Nine defeats in their last 14 MLS games, including a 7-0 hammering at Atlanta United last week, sealed Heaps’ fate and New England Revolution GM Michael Burns had the following to say about Heaps’ departure.

“Jay has done a great deal for the club over the years and had considerable achievements. I have great respect for him and wish him well in the next steps of his career, “Burns said. “This decision has not been taken lightly, however, we need to do better than the results have shown from the last couple of seasons and this season left us convinced we need to go in a different direction.”

Assistant coach Tom Soehn has been placed in interim charge of the Revs for the remainder of the 2017 season and the Kraft family, who own the MLS franchise, explained why they fired Heaps.

“As a club, we made the decision to remove Jay Heaps as the head coach of our team. We would like to thank Jay for his tremendous contributions to the club over his 15 years as a player and coach. Jay led us to our fifth MLS Cup appearance and our third US Open Cup Final. He made us all proud and as a former player of ours we are very happy to have helped him launch his coaching career and wish him nothing but the best of success in the future.

“Our goal is to field a team each and every season that is competing for championships and over the past couple of seasons we have fallen short of that goal. We will immediately begin a search for a new head coach and are committed to seeing the New England Revolution once again return to championship contention. – Robert and Jonathan Kraft”

With a 75-81-43 record in the regular season and a 4-3-1 record in the postseason as a coach, Heaps is also the longest-serving head coach in Revs history after spending nine seasons as a player for New England. He will remain a legend of the club.

Yet, after early promise in his coaching career things faded badly in New England for Heaps with the Revs failing to make the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. The former U.S. national team defender was one of a wave of MLS head coaches with vast playing experience in the league after the likes of Ben Olsen, Mike Petke, Jesse Marsch and Greg Vanney were also been handed head coaching gigs.

Heaps has brought through many promising young players such as Andrew Farrell, Scott Caldwell and Kelyn Rowe but with the likes of Juan Agudelo and Diego Fagundez unable to kick on in attack the Revs have struggled to compete in the stacked Eastern Conference.

With a new soccer-specific stadium deal for the Revs no closer to fruition than it was when Heaps took charge in 2011 (the $250 million deal for a stadium in Boston’s Bayside Exposition Center collapsed earlier this year) many will question a lack of investment in the team over the years from the Kraft family as the ultimatum reason for recent struggles on the pitch.

That said, the New England job is still a very attractive one and there will no doubt be a range of top-class applicants to oversee the massive rebuild needed, although no overwhelming favorite for the role has emerged.