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.