Revolution to bring in more new faces


Revolution to bring in more new faces

By DannyPicard

FOXBORO What a difference a year makes.

The New England Revolution enter the 2011 season with plenty of new faces, and it was confirmed at the teams media day Wednesday at Gillette Stadium that there are more bodies on the way.

Steve Nicols Revs squad opens the regular season on Sunday night in Los Angeles against the Galaxy. MLS roster sizes have increased from 24 to 30 in 2011. New England currently has 27 players on its roster, with 11 new faces for this season, including five new international players that were added in the offseason.

But both Revolution vice president of player personnel Mike Burns and Nicol confirmed at the teams annual media day that they are actively on the hunt for another striker.

We need more help up front, said Nicol on Wednesday. Thats no secret.

Theres only 24 hours in a day, and every one of those 24 hours, weve been talking to people, talking to agents, talking to players, trying to get things done. Weve been close on a couple of occasions. On one occasion, we thought we had it done.

We need another striker, definitely, added the Revs coach. Well do everything we possibly can to make that happen.

Either way, this years Revolution team is dealing with plenty of changes -- changes that Burns said were absolutely necessary after a disappointing 9-16-5 finish in 2010.

I think it goes without saying, but the underlying theme for me this offseason, has been change, in terms of both the league level and for us here on the Revs at a team level, said Burns on Wednesday.

I think with the season that we had last year, frankly, it was necessary, he said. And two, with the increased number of roster spots, that obviously factored into it as well.

Listen, I could sit up here and make a lot of excuses, but I will say this: In 2010, to have a Steve Ralston, a Jay Heaps, and a Taylor Twellman all retire in the same calendar year, without making excuses, that affects the team. No doubt about it, added Burns. It certainly affected us. That, coupled with the fact that we had nine wins last year, changes were a necessity, for sure.

Changes werent just made within the Revolution organization. They were also made throughout the league.

The 2011 season will include expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland. Both of those teams will be in the Western Conference, meaning the Houston Dynamo will join the Eastern Conference, in a conference re-alignment of sorts.

Playoffs will also include two more teams.

And the regular season increases from 30 to 34 games in 2011, meaning Revs fans will have two more opportunities to see their team at Gillette Stadium.

While at Gillette Stadium, fans will also notice some changes in the venues seating arrangement. There will be a new seating configuration in 2011 that will shorten the size of the sections by 10-15 rows, opening up the seats all around the bowl.

In the past, one entire side of the field was blocked off with a tarp, but that will no longer be the case, beginning with the teams first home game, a week from Saturday against D.C. United.

Also seeing a change in 2011 is the MLS minor league system, which will re-emerge this year. And according to Burns, it will be a good way for the Revolution coaching staff to look at all of the organizations players in a professional environment.

I think one of the big pluses of the reserve league, is the ability for us to use our academy players, said Burns. It makes it a little bit more professional. In the reserve league we had previously, the fact that we were able to call up players off the street, I dont think it really was as professionally done as it could have been.

Whether any of these changes work to help improve the Revolution from their 2010 season remains to be seen. New England captain Shalrie Joseph -- who called out the teams immaturity during last years struggles said on Wednesday that with all the new faces on the team, they still need some more time to get where they want to be.

To this day, we still dont know whos our starting 11, or whos going to be on the field, said Joseph. Thats what teams are about. Youve got to come in every day and work hard, and everybodys competing for those 11 spots. And once we decide whos going to be out there, then we can start working together.

Its definitely going to take some time for us to gel, and to get that team spirit, and that team unity youre going to need to be a good team in this league.

Its a new year. The Revolution hope all those changes make a difference sooner, rather than later.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 a.m. on

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.