FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution coach Brad Friedel says the club will undergo sweeping changes in the offseason.
Friedel offered brief remarks about his team’s future following a 2-0 victory over Orlando City SC on Saturday night, hours after being eliminated from postseason contention for the third straight year.
“Where we’re at, they’ll be quite a few changes in the off-season,” Friedel said. “A lot of exciting changes that’ll happen in the season. You’re going to see some things and a lot of news that comes out with New England over the next couple of months that people will start to sit back and realize.”
One new development will arrive on Monday when the club breaks ground on a new, $35 million training facility adjacent to Gillette Stadium.
Friedel, who took over coaching the Revolution last fall, has already had a substantive impact on the club by himself. He introduced new tactics like the high press, implemented a new training regiment, and used his connections to acquire promising talent.
But Friedel has also spent the entire season saying his players would play attractive soccer and make the playoffs; the former occurred sporadically while the latter became impossible shortly before New England took the field against Orlando.
Overall, there’s a sense that the Revolution are in dire need of an upgrade. Fair or not, complaints have been levied at the club’s management for years. Missing out on the playoffs for a third straight year doesn’t help, either.
However, Friedel still has the benefit of time on his side. As far as the on-field product goes, he inherited roughly half of the current roster from his predecessors, interim coach Tom Soehn, former head coach Jay Heaps, and current General Manager Mike Burns.
Friedel, Burns, and Head of Scouting should be busy replenishing the team’s roster in the winter, particularly along the back line. Not doing so would appear to directly contradict Friedel’s statement that changes are on the way.
Even so, Friedel hasn’t necessarily hidden his disdain for the limited weapons he has at his disposal on the roster. He’s questioned some players’ winning mentalities and has decried poor play and unforced errors.
On Saturday, Friedel indicated that he’s already started to think about making cuts ahead of the off-season.
“We’ve basically started our preseason tonight and that’s what I told the players,” he said. “And everyone’s going to be fighting for their spots and the players that are with us are going to have to be very good and mentally and physically tough. And the one’s that aren’t, I wish them well when they’re not with us. And the ones we bring in are going to be excited to play here. So, hopefully we have some great things to come for the club.”