The New England Revolution are fifth in the Eastern Conference as they enter the second half of the season, which is good placement for a team that went through a coaching change. Still, head coach Brad Friedel wants more from his team.
On Saturday, the Revs had a 2-1 lead over D.C. United heading into halftime. Although the scoreline was favorable, Friedel expressed frustration about the product on the field. While in the locker room, he decided to make two substitutions, neither of which was forced by injury.
The Revs looked better in the second half, as they successfully deployed the tactics that worked well for them in the past. By the end of the night, the Revolution had three points, which solidified their spot in a crowded conference.
“I think the Eastern Conference is going to be tight throughout,” Friedel told media. “If you look at the game in hand we have, if we win that over Atlanta, we’re only seven points out of first place. It’s close all over the league.”
Practices play a big role in Friedel’s system. Each session is full of intensity and competition because players know that their performances are directly tied to the minutes they earn in that weekend’s game.
“If you watch these trainings, there’s no complacency in here,” Kelyn Rowe remarked. “You’re not able to take a break. You’re not able to take a game off. If you have a poor performance, you’re going to find yourself on the bench.”
Beyond inspiring his players to perform their best, Friedel is also focused on making acquisitions that would enhance the roster. The Revs currently have five open roster spots, including two senior spots. They also have the ability to bring in a Designated Player (or two). It’s worth noting that they only have one available international slot.
Given the roster flexibility they currently have, don’t be surprised if the Revs make a move when the summer transfer window opens on Jul. 10. This, of course, would be done in the name of strengthening the roster and staying competitive in the Eastern Conference.
“We hope to add a new face or two in the transfer window, but if we do, those players will be great additions to this squad, to an already really strong squad,” Friedel said.