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Revolution announce hiring of Brad Friedel as coach

Madeleine Meyer.The Seattle Times/AP

Brad Friedel played in the English Premier League from 1997-2015.

By Nathaniel Weitzer Globe Correspondent 

The Revolution on Thursday officially named Brad Friedel as the seventh head coach in franchise history.

Friedel most recently served as head coach of the United States’ Under-19 men’s national team, a position he started in January after a storied playing career as a goalkeeper. He replaces Jay Heaps, who was fired in September; assistant Tom Soehn had been acting as interim head coach.

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Friedel, 46, logged the fourth-most appearances for a goaltender in US history with 82 games from 1992-2005. He helped lead the US to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup.

Friedel compiled an English Premier League-record 310 consecutive appearances for the Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, and Tottenham Hotspur from 2004-12, and his 450 overall Premier League appearances are the most by an American.

Prior to playing in England, Friedel started 45 Major League Soccer games with the Columbus Crew and was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 1997. He also led UCLA to an NCAA championship in 1990 and was awarded the Hermann Trophy as the top collegiate soccer player in 1992.

“While Brad’s professional playing pedigree speaks for itself, it is his competitive character and commitment to winning that make me confident his incredible career as a player will translate to success here in New England,” said Revolution general manager Michael Burns.

“He demands the best out of himself and his players and has a strong presence both in the locker room and on the sidelines, which is why we believe he is the best choice to lead the Revolution.”

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The Revolution, who finished seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 13-15-6 record in 2017, also hired two new assistants: Mike Lapper, 47, who spent nine seasons as an assistant with Columbus, and Marcelo Neveleff, 54, an Argentina native who was most recently a technical adviser in the US Soccer Boys’ Development Academy.

“My staff and I are delighted and honored to have been hired by the New England Revolution,” Friedel said in a statement. “I can guarantee that the staff and players will give 100 percent commitment to the club and our fans while looking forward to all the challenges ahead. We can’t wait to get started right away building this club for the 2018 season.”