FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution have named former US national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel the club's new head coach, succeeding interim boss Tom Soehn after Jay Heaps was dismissed in September.
Friedel, the seventh head coach in club history, brings 25 years of professional and international experience to New England, most recently serving as head coach of the US U-19 men's national team. He'll be formally introduced at a press conference on Monday alongside club president Brian Bilello and GM Mike Burns.
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"Brad has been a leader throughout his illustrious career and is regarded as one of the most successful players in US history with experiences spanning multiple continents, leagues, and levels of competition,” said Revolution Investor/Operators Robert and Jonathan Kraft in a team statement. “We believe his playing and coaching experiences along with his commitment to compete at the highest level will allow him to be very successful in our league. His knowledge of the game, passion for winning, and experience working with players whose talents range from aspiring young players to the game’s most successful professionals will be great assets for the Revolution."
"My staff and I are delighted and honored to have been hired by the New England Revolution," Friedel said. "I can guarantee that we, the staff and players, will give 100 percent commitment to the club and our fans while looking forward to all the challenges ahead. We can't wait to get started right away building this club for the 2018 season."
Friedel has been at the helm of the US U-19s since January 2016, while also serving as an assistant under Tab Ramos when the US won the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Friedel holds a UEFA "Pro" coaching license, the organization's highest certification available, and began accruing experience during his final years as a player by assisting at all levels of Tottenham's Academy and serving as an assistant with various US youth national teams.
"While Brad's professional playing pedigree speaks for itself, it is his competitive character and commitment to winning that make me confident his incredible career as a player will translate to success here in New England," Burns said. "He demands the best out of himself and his players and has a strong presence both in the locker room and on the sidelines, which is why we believe he is the best choice to lead the Revolution."
In addition, the Revolution and Friedel have hired assistants Mike Lapper and Marcelo Neveleff. Soehn, assistant Carlos Llamosa, and head of fitness Aidan Byrne will not return to the club in 2018.
Before entering the coaching ranks, Friedel enjoyed one of the most accomplished playing careers in US history. In his 13-year international career, he earned 82 career caps, the fourth-most ever among American goalkeepers. He was instrumental in leading the USA to the 2002 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals, making all five starts in the tournament, and also made the 1994 and 1998 World Cup rosters.
Friedel's club career featured over 600 total appearances across all competitions, highlighted by 17 Premier League seasons with Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, Aston Villa, and Tottenham Hotspur. His 450 league appearances in the Premier League are the most ever by an American and third most among all goalkeepers. He also holds the Premier League record for most consecutive appearances with 310, and his 132 clean sheets rank in the top 10 in league history.
Prior to his time in England, Friedel started 45 matches in MLS with Columbus Crew SC from 1996-97. In 1997, he was selected to the MLS Best XI and named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
Friedel has also spent time as a member of the sports media, most recently serving as a studio and in-game analyst for FOX Sports. He also previously worked with various outlets in the UK including BBC and Sky Sports.