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Brad Friedel made a lot of halftime subs in 2018

Let’s see how the strategy worked.

MLS: New England Revolution at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With Brad Friedel at the helm, the New England Revolution became a pressing team that refused to be outworked. The former goalkeeper was also lauded for bringing a professional mentality to the locker room. An under-reported part of the Friedel era has been the rise of halftime subs.

During Saturday’s game against Columbus Crew SC, Friedel made two changes at the break, inserting Diego Fagundez and Justin Rennicks for Cristian Penilla and Juan Agudelo. This tactic might be a rarity in soccer but it’s become a go-to for Friedel.

In 2018, Friedel made 13 halftime substitutions over the span of 11 games. The double swaps came against D.C. United on Jun. 30 and the Chicago Fire on Sept. 22. The D.C. game ended in a 3-2 Revs win with both teams scoring on penalties during the second half. Against Chicago, the Revs scored twice after halftime but also conceded an own goal.

As a whole, the Revs were 3-5-3 when making a change at the break. These games saw the Revs concede ten goals and score seven.

The switches came most often when the game was tied. In these seven games, the Revs went 2-3-2. Friedel used the tactic three times when losing, which resulted in a 0-2-1 record. On one occasion a halftime change was made when the Revs were winning, which resulted in a win.

Revolution Halftime Substitutions in 2018

Date Opponent Score at halftime Substitutes made Goals scored after halftime Goals allowed after halftime Final score Other Notes
Date Opponent Score at halftime Substitutes made Goals scored after halftime Goals allowed after halftime Final score Other Notes
April 14 Dallas Revs 0, Dallas 0 Agudelo enters for Caldwell 0 1 (76') Revs 0, Dallas 1
May 19 Columbus Revs 0, Columbus 0 Zahibo enters for Rowe 0 1 (85') Revs 0, Columbus 1
June 30 D.C. Revs 2, D.C. 1 Rowe enters for Zahibo and Agudelo enters for Nemeth 1 (78') 1 (73') Revs 3, D.C. 2 Both teams had PKs in the second half
July 7 Seattle Revs 0, Seattle 0 Somi enters for Dielna 0 0 Revs 0, Seattle 0
August 19 D.C. Revs 0, D.C. 1 Zahibo enters for Agudelo 0 1 (89') Revs 0, D.C. 2 Caldwell was given a red card in the 73rd
September 1 Portland Revs 0, Portland 0 Agudelo enters for Fagundez 1 (58') 1 (70') Revs 1, Portland 1
September 5 NYCFC Revs 0, NYCFC 0 Fagundez enters for Machado 1 (71') 0 Revs 1, NYCFC 0
September 22 Chicago Revs 0, Chicago 1 Hauche enters for Bye, Agudelo enters for Fagundez 2 (62' and 70') 1 (67') Revs 2, Chicago 2
September 29 Toronto Revs 1, Toronto 1 Fagundez enters for Caldwell 0 3 (53', 58', 81') Revs 1, Toronto 4 Toronto had a PK in the second half
October 19 Real Salt Lake Revs 0, RSL 3 Segbers enters for Caldwell 1 (69') 1 (50') Revs 1, RSL 4
October 28 Montreal Revs 0, Montreal 0 Wright enters for Bunbury 1 (74') 0 Revs 1, Montreal 0