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Brad Friedel: Revolution seek another designated player

revolution coach brad friedel
May 12, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution head coach Brad Friedel motions to his team on the field during the first half against Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution are not done signing players two weeks after spending almost $2 million to sign Spanish midfielder Carles Gil from Deportivo La Coruña.

During an annual season-ticket holder welcome event Monday night, club president Brian Bilello, coach Brad Friedel and general manager Mike Burns all said they’re on the hunt for at least one more elite player from overseas. Friedel even took things one step further by telling fans the future signing would be a designated player.

The event was closed to media, though many supporters live-tweeted the Q&A session with New England’s leadership, which happens each year.

The trio’s remarks also echo what they’ve all said publicly about player movement since the offseason began. Friedel, entering his second year as coach, has emphasized how the current roster is far more his own than when he took over from the Jay Heaps/Tom Soehn coaching era in November 2017.

Even so, roster turnover has been relatively minimum.

New England only cut two rookies from last year’s team, plus fourth-string striker Femi Hollinger-Janzen. The team also traded defender Claude Dielna to Portland and shipped midfielder Kelyn Rowe to Sporting Kansas City in a three-team deal that netted them left back Edgar Castillo.

Cristhian Machado and Guillermo Hauche, both midseason additions last year, also had their options declined, and Chris Tierney retired.

New England proceeded to re-sign Juan Agudelo and acquire Colombian striker Juan Fernando Caicedo on loan before making two offensive-minded Superdraft picks and signing Gil, its most expensive transfer to-date.

The Revolution have been linked with big names before, but seem to really embrace investing in foreign talent with Friedel at the helm.

In the last six months, the club has had offers on the table for former Barcelona and Roma attacker Bojan Krkic, Standard Liege winger Paul-Jose M’Poku and at least two center backs from two European super clubs.

Timing is critical to any move, so any signing the Revs make will have to compensate for the January transfer window now being closed.

The central message for now though is this: The team is almost completely in Friedel’s image and there should be more additions to come.

New England leaves for Bradenton, Fla., Feb. 12 for the second leg of its preseason. While there, the Revolution will play USL Championship side Louisville City FC (Feb. 14), and Iceland’s Reykjavik (Feb. 23).

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