Ralston's retirement ceremony takes center stage following Revs' 1-0 win

Ralston's retirement ceremony takes center stage following Revs' 1-0 win

By Danny Picard

FOXBORO --Retirement press conferences arent usually scheduled for 10p.m. on a weeknight. But thats the way things went down at Gillette Stadiumprior to the New England Revolutions 1-0 win over Monarcas Morelia on Tuesdaynight.

With the win, the Revolution clinch the top seed in theirgroup for SuperLiga 2010, and will host a semi-final game in the first week ofAugust.

But following the game, Steve Ralstons retirement pressconference stole the show.

Ralston is known as the MLS Iron Man and has played inall four of New Englands MLS Cup appearances. Hes one of the best right-sidedmidfielders in MLS history, but called it quits on Tuesday night.

Obviously it wasnt an easy decision, but Ill look backwith a lot of great memories from being a part of this organization, saidRalston, with Revolution coach Steve Nicol to his right, and several members ofthe organization sitting with the media.

Ralston didnt have a speech prepared. The reason? He waspreparing to suit up for one last game in front of the Revolution fans.

We wanted him to start the game, and we wanted him to be acaptain, said Nicol after the win.

An administrative issue at league level forced Ralston tocall it quits without getting back on the field again.

I was hoping to play in the game tonight, and I wanted toprepare for the game, like I always do, and go about the business and enjoyit, said Ralston. Unfortunately, some things came up, and I wasnt able toobviously play in the game. So this is kind of off the cuff here.

Playing in front of the crowd one more time, I would haveloved that opportunity, but some things kind of came up, unfortunately, that wedidnt know about, and just kind of deemed that it just couldnt happen,unfortunately.

Those things that came up most likely have to do with therumors that Ralston will join the Houston Dynamo as their assistant coach oncehis retirement is official.

When asked what hed take with him into coaching, Ralstonresponded by saying, Well if I get into that stuff, obviously theres a lot ofthings.

After Ralston got up from the press conference, Nicol mayhave slipped up about his now-former players future.

Steve Ralstons as good a player as weve had on this club,ever, said the Revs coach. Theres absolutely no doubt about that.

Somebody else is going to get the benefit of a greatperson, and he certainly was a great player, and Ill be shocked if hes not agreat coach.

Regardless of what Ralstons future holds, the Revolutionwill have to finish this season without him, and the post-Ralston period beganon Tuesday with a win over Monarcas, thanks to Marko Perovics third goal infour games.

Perovic put the Revs on top 1-0 in the 62nd minute, after hefound a loose ball in Monarcas box and put a bullet into the top-left corner.

Hes got talent. Theres absolutely no doubt, hes gottalent, said Nicol about his Serbian midfielder who's in his first MLS season. And wed like to find more ways of trying to show histalent.

I think he realizes the game is quite physical, addedthe Revs coach. As soon as he gets it, teams understand that he can hop them,so theyre going to be at him quick, and theyre going to be physical with him.I think that was probably a shock for him to begin with.

Its about getting it right between your ears. Once you canunderstand whats happening and whats coming at you, then obviously, it givesyou a head start. And I think hes taking advantage of that."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

Revolution introduce Brad Friedel as coach


Revolution introduce Brad Friedel as coach

New Revolution coach Brad Friedel was introduced to the media at Gillette Stadium on Monday and promised his "obsession with winning" will filter down to the rest of the organization.

“We have a lot of work ahead but we do have a lot of good players here, a lot of good pieces to this club,” Friedel said.  “One thing we can guarantee you — because you never want to guarantee too much in sport — is that you will get 100 percent commitment from myself and staff, as well as the players.

“And we’re going to be, hopefully, get to the obsession that I have with winning. And we’ll work our best to try and get those wins on the board that we can.”

Since retiring as a player, Friedel, a former UMNT goalkeeper who spent most of his career in Europe and the Premier League, has coached the US U-19 team and worked as a soccer analyst for FOX Sports. He's the eighth coach in the MLS franchise's 22-year history. He replaces Jay Heaps, the Revs' second-longest serving coach who led New England to playoff appearances from 2013-15, including an MLS Cup Final appearance in 2014. 

Friedel said it won't be difficult to adjust to coaching in the MLS after a long career in Europe. 

“That won't be hard to adjust to at all," Freidel said. "Not every team over in Europe or England, for that matter, has these enormous budgets. Working at clubs like Blackburn as a player, but then at Tottenham, I know it's a big club, but they work under a strict budget at Tottenham. You learn to work under whatever restrictions or not there may or may not be... 

"Whatever budget is given to us, we will work with. I think what's really important is the mentality of the players. Fans and players are usually the two most important things at every single club. Us as a staff, we're employed to try to make those players better. So, whatever players are in front of us, that's going to be our focus – on getting a team environment, a winning environment, and an environment where every player wants to work hard. It doesn't really matter where your budgets are.”

Friedel said he likes the potential on the Revs roster. 

"I think there's a lot of potential within the group. We're not going to go into details at the first press conference obviously with the squad itself. We have a lot of meetings ahead with that, but there's a lot of potential in the group... 

"This is not a team that is in disarray, that's for sure. I think there needs to be little tweaks to it, and then my staff and I need to go in and try to mold the team and get the confidence back. I think if you see – you can look at stats, stats don't lie – over 60 goals conceded is too much and that's something we'll need to address. But, we know what we need to address and we'll work hard to address those issues."

Report: Revolution hire Brad Friedel as new head coach


Report: Revolution hire Brad Friedel as new head coach

The New England Revolution have hired Brad Friedel as their new head coach, according to Ives Galarcep of

Friedel, 46, played goalkeeper for the Columbus Crew in 1996 and 1997 before spending 18 years in the Premier League and was the starting keeper for the United States National Team in the 2002 World Cup. He has spent the last two years coaching the United States Under-19 National Team.

The Revs fired head coach Jay Heaps and September and Tom Soehn filled in as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.