In the wake of his departure from New England on Monday afternoon, Steve Nicol harped on the positives of his 10 years in charge of the Revolution.
Nicol and the Revs mutually decided to part ways, concluding the longest spell in charge of one club by any MLS manager. The final day of Nicol's tenure felt bittersweet for the veteran manager, but he noted that the entire decade provided far more positives than negatives.
“There were certainly more good ones than bad ones,” Nicol told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Monday night. “I'm just lucky that's what occurred.”
Nicol's unprecedented run of success as Revolution boss – his 10 years as coach included four MLS Cup appearances, six Eastern Conference Championship appearances, a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup win in 2007 and a SuperLiga triumph in 2008 – leaves him with plenty to take from his time in Foxborough.
The future, however, looked far more uncertain given Nicol's contractual status and the Revs' struggles over the past two seasons. After meeting with Revolution investor/operators Robert and Jonathan Kraft on Monday afternoon, Nicol and the Revs decided to sever ties before the 2012 season.
“My contract was up the 31st of December,” Nicol said. “They had an option on me. We've spoken and we came to the realization that all good things come to an end sometime. We'll part ways and I have nothing but good things to say about the organization, the Krafts and the fans.”
Nicol underscored his appreciation for the Krafts' continued faith in his leadership during his spell in charge, and the Scotsman bears no ill will after the mutually agreed departure.
“They gave me my first job here and I've got a great relationship with them,” Nicol said. “I spoke to them today. Obviously, it's not an ideal situation, but they were really good to me. I have only good things to say about them. It happens, but I've had a great time.”
In addition to lauding the players he coached over the yearS and showing his respect to the Krafts, Nicol also praised the Revolution fans for their dedication and their support during his tenure.
“I've been lucky to have a really good relationship with our supporters,” Nicol said. “I'm not sure that's what happens around the rest of the world or the rest of this country, but I've gotten to know a lot of fans and they've been good to me.”
In the end, Nicol and the Revs decided the time had arrived to put those relationships on hold and move in a new direction. The end of this particular journey, however, did not diminish Nicol's appreciation for the rare opportunity presented by his lengthy spell with the Revs.
“Not many people do that,” Nicol said of his decade of service to one club. “I'm just grateful that I've done that.”