Mike Burns - New England Revolution - at mic
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Revolution GM Mike Burns addresses media in the wake of Friedel firing

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution general manager Mike Burns faced the media on Friday, one day after he sacked second-year head coach Brad Friedel.

Burns said he made the decision to fire Friedel following Wednesday’s 5-0 loss to the Chicago Fire, the Revolution’s second straight five-goal loss.

“I just feel that recently over the last, you know, three, four or five games, the performances and the results were more non-competitive than competitive,” Burns said. “We feel that we have a better team and a better roster than what the results have previously shown.”

Overall, New England have conceded 30 goals this season with a -19 goal differential, both worst in MLS. The Revs have eight points from their first 12 games and sit bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Assistant coach Mike Lapper, who was hired with Friedel in November 2017, is the interim head coach. He told both Friedel and Burns that he “didn't sign up for this” but is going to do “everything” he can while at the helm to get the club back into a playoff position, which he said is the minimum standard. Lapper, who is in his 11th season overall as an MLS assistant coach, also hopes to be considered for the permanent role.

Burns said the timeline to hire a permanent coach “is as soon as possible without obviously rushing anything.” He added that owner-operators Robert and Jonathan Kraft, club president Brian Bilello and himself will be involved in the decision-making process.

Asked whether he should still be the club’s GM in the wake of a statement by Revs supporters group the Midnight Riders calling for his departure, Burns said that his work is second-guessed by media and fans and they “have opinions, both positive and negative.” Burns has worked in the club’s front office since 2005 and has been GM since 2011.

“I've been part of this club for a long time and whether I was a player or whether I've worked in the front office, or any job that I've ever had, I've never talked publicly about my own employment status,” Burns said. “And I won't be starting today.”

Burns briefly addressed the team’s continuing efforts to acquire a second Designated Player. He would not talk about any specific players, but said the club tried to complete a deal before the close of the Primary Transfer Window on Tuesday but “weren't able to get it across the finish line.”

He added that the club would try to add players this summer when the Secondary Transfer Window opens in July.

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