FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Brad Friedel connected with Lee Nguyen Wednesday morning, wishing him well.
Quickly after, though, the New England Revolution boss wanted to look past the transfer deadline day blockbuster trade that sent the former MVP candidate to LAFC in return for $700,000 in guaranteed allocation money. The deal could include an extra $250,000 in allocation money and LAFC’s 2019 or 2020 first-round draft pick based on contingencies.
“He thanked us for everything, I thanked him for everything and I wished him best of luck,” Friedel said. “I’ve said many, many times, there’s never been a personal issue at all between Lee and myself. I sincerely hope he enjoys his time at LAFC.”
Under Friedel, Nguyen never made the matchday roster during the Revs’ 4-2-2 start after making his desire for a trade within MLS well known this past offseason. A standoff ensued, with the Revs finally sending Nguyen out to the Western Conference mere hours before the Primary Transfer Window closed.
Friedel didn’t divulge whether or not Nguyen would have ever featured under his tenure, despite the midfielder being under contract for 2018, with options for 2019 and 2020.
“I can’t answer that with a premonition of what might happen,” Friedel said when asked if Nguyen would have played. “I said all along, anybody who’s committed and anybody who works hard, they have a chance to play. That goes for every player across the board. There’s a plan for every single player we ever have under contract to get themselves into the team, but they have to be committed and work hard.”
"Commitment" was the buzzword for Nguyen, but Friedel expressed confidence in life after the midfielder.
Specifically, he hailed the work the Revs have done in the Primary Transfer Window, bringing in five starters in Wilfried Zahibo, Gabriel Somi, Luis Caicedo, Cristian Penilla and Jalil Anibaba. Plus, he’s given the keys to the Revs’ attack to longtime midfielder Diego Fagundez.
Friedel also shed light onto how the Revs could approach the Secondary Transfer Window, which runs from July 10 to August 8.
“We’re pleased with [the roster] and when the transfer window opens in July, we hope to add at least two more faces if we can get the deals over the line,” Friedel said. “Before you ask your question, no I will not tell you who we’re thinking about. We’re really happy with the squad, happy with the team spirit and looking forward to the Montreal [Impact] game [this Saturday].”
Friedel said he hopes to become three deep in some positions, and said budgetary concerns have not gotten in the way with transfer targets.
“Rest assured, anyone we bring through this door is going to be in the hopes of making the squad stronger and more competitive,” Friedel said. “Players fight for their places, and all with the onus on trying to get three points.”