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Friedel: Revs players “playing for their contracts”

Players and staff have eight auditions coming up.

MLS: D.C. United at New England Revolution Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Revolution players and coaches should view the next eight games as an audition for next year, according to head coach Brad Friedel.

After Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers, the Revs are now winless in nine straight. It’s a frustrating funk for a team that was consistently above the playoff line during the first half of the season. Although they’re still in contention to play post-season soccer, prospects dim with each negative result.

With this in mind, Friedel has told his players that there could be changes next season.

“I’ve told the players to their face. Every single one of them are playing for their contracts, absolutely,” Friedel said during his press conference. “And we’re coaching for our contracts. That’s professional sports.”

Since naming Friedel as head coach on Nov. 9, 2017, the Revs have parted ways with eleven players while adding the same number. Throughout this time, Friedel has lauded the talent on his roster. On Saturday, Friedel repeated this rhetoric, though he noted that players must also have a positive work rate and mentality.

“We have a lot of very talented players in the locker room,” Friedel explained. “But talent only gets you so far. Ask any of the great successes in the world.”

Currently six points out of the playoffs, Friedel and his staff remain focused on trying to right the ship. If they don’t, however, they know that turnover will happen. That’s just the nature of sports.

“If we don’t make the playoffs and we’re not successful, there will be changes,” Friedel said. “If we make the playoffs and we’re successful, they’ll be less changes. That’s normal.”