The fact that the New England Revolution doesn’t have a designated penalty kick taker is a bit of a oddity in the soccer world, but it doesn’t bother head coach Brad Friedel,
So far this season, Diego Fagundez (twice), Teal Bunbury, and Cristian Penilla have stepped up to the spot. All of them, save for Fagundez in his first attempt, has successfully put the ball into the back of the net. This, of course, is the job of the penalty taker.
On Tuesday, Friedel explained that he discusses penalties “a little bit” before the game, but otherwise trusts those on the field to handle the situation when it arises. This all stems from the amount of talent found on the roster.
“We have four or five guys that are very confident in taking penalties,” Friedel explained. “[Who takes one depends on] who’s feeling it in the moment.”
Friedel also noted that lineups can change and that there’s no way to predict that a certain player will be on the field when a penalty is awarded. As a result, it’s difficult to name a full-time kicker.
Still, Friedel has no problem stepping in if the players can’t come to a consensus on their own, saying, “Every now and again, if it becomes contentious, I will step in, no doubt.”
For now, Friedel only cares about one thing when it comes to penalties.
“I don’t care personally who takes it, as long as the thing hits the back of the net,” Friedel concluded.