The New England Revolution have fired manager Brad Friedel after a poor start to the season that included two recent heavy defeats.
Assistant coach Mike Lapper will take over the club on an interim basis.
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“The New England Revolution announced today that Brad Friedel has been relieved of his duties as the club’s head coach, effective immediately,” the team said on its website.
“Revolution assistant coach Mike Lapper will take over as interim head coach while the club begins the search for its next head coach.”
Friedel, who was hired in 2018, finished his time in charge of New England with a 12-21-13 record.
His only prior head coaching experience was a stint in charge of the U.S. U19 national team.
His tenure with the Revolution began with some promise, as he introduced a high-pressing style that sparked the team to a 5-3-2 start. But the Revs faded badly down the stretch, winning just three of their last 17 games to finish in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, nine points adrift of the sixth and final playoff spot.
Results didn’t improve in 2019, and Friedel took to criticizing his players’ perceived lack of motivation in public, citing the lack of promotion/relegation as a reason for the team’s poor mentality.
Friedel’s long-time relationship with GM Mike Burns — the two are former national team roommates — was thought to allow him more time. However, following a 6-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Union last weekend and a 5-0 loss to the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, the decision was made to dismiss Friedel.
New England hasn’t reached the postseason since 2015 and ranked in the bottom quarter of the league last year in terms of salaries.
Lapper, 48, is in his second season with New England after joining the club as an assistant coach in November 2017. The former U.S. international has previously been an assistant with the U.S. Under-19 squad (2016-17), West Virginia University (2013-15), and spent nine seasons with the Columbus Crew (2005-13).
Lapper enjoyed a 12-year playing career as a defender from 1991-2002. He began his professional career with VfL Wolfsburg in Germany, before joining Southend United in England’s second tier. Lapper then went on to play six seasons in MLS with Columbus from 1997-2002.
At international level, Lapper made 43 appearances for the U.S., and was part of the U.S. squad at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.