According to reports, Brad Friedel is the New England Revolution's next head coach. This hiring may come to a surprise to many. Rumored candidates, such as former Argentina manager Daniel Passarella, New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese, and former USMNT boss Bruce Arena, made it seem like the Revolution were looking for experience. While Friedel may be one of the biggest names on the possible candidates list, he's also a huge risk.
This potential hiring (keep in mind that it isn’t official yet) is underwhelming. Firing Jay Heaps made sense but naming Friedel has his replacement doesn’t. Heaps had no professional coaching experience when he was named head coach in 2011, which made him a pick for the future. It took time for Heaps to grow into the job, which he was allotted because of his status as a club legend.
Fast forward to 2017 and the Revs seem ready to pick another coach with little coaching experience. This hiring lacks ambition from the front office.
While Friedel has a UEFA "A" coaching license, his work as a head coach is limited. He was appointed head coach of the U-19 Men's National Team in January of 2016 and in 2017 he was an assistant coach for the team that won the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Before that, Friedel helped out in development camps and with Tottenham Hotspurs academy, per U.S. Soccer. In sum, there isn’t a lot on his resume.
The fact is, Friedel's reputation mainly comes from his playing career in England and his analyst work for Fox Soccer. Although his career as a player is impressive, it shouldn't warrant a jump from coaching a youth team to a professional club that's main goal is to get back into the playoffs and challenge for a cup. There aren’t a lot of reasons to believe that Friedel can take the Revolution to the next step, especially since his U19's are 8-8 since he took over.
On the other hand, this risk could turn out good for the Revolution. The team could very well benefit from someone with such an impressive career abroad and it could work wonders. Friedel may turn out to be a positive influence, but there's still a lot for him to learn as a coach. This is why it’s such a huge risk.
The Revs went to MLS Cup in 2014 but have missed the playoffs the last two years. Their fans are hungry for a rebound and it’s hard to know if Fridel will be able to relieved it during year one. There's going to be a lot of pressure on Friedel to adapt quickly.
Overall, this potential hiring could go either way. It could go down as a great decision by the Revolution front office, but there's just as much of a chance for it to turn into a poor one. The point is, regardless of if it turns out to be a great or poor decision, the Revolution aren't in the place to be taking a risk on inexperienced coaches after the firing of Heaps. That alone leaves me underwhelmed about this potential hire.