A mere three days after saying he would be involved in the search for the Revolution’s next head coach, he’s now out of a job.
In a stunning dinnertime move that swept the Boston soccer landscape in an uproar and left it turned on its head, the club announced that embattled general manager Michael Burns has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately.
In a release to the media Monday evening, team president Brian Bilello noted, “In light of recent results and the team’s on-field direction over the last few seasons, we felt it was time to take the soccer side of the organization in a different direction. We expect to make an announcement related to the leadership of the soccer organization in the coming days.
“As an original Revolution player and throughout his time with the club’s front office, Michael has always been a terrific ambassador for the club. His impact on the team and organization has been felt in many ways and we are grateful for his commitment and service to the New England Revolution.”
A native of nearby Marlborough and an original member of the club -- three goals in 108 appearances as a defender -- when Major League Soccer launched in 1996, Burns’ firing comes just four days after the Original Ten club gave manager Brad Friedel the sack, and three days after Burns met the media for seven minutes to discuss not only Friedel’s firing, but where the club goes from there.
In addition, Burns’ firing comes in the days after The Rebellion and Midnight Riders — the two main fan groups of the club — released statements that the team needed new leadership in the soccer operations department. The Rebellion handed Bilello a letter Saturday requesting a Supporter's Town Hall meeting with the upper hierarchy of the club, with the intentions of discovering what the team would do to fix the Revolution's problems.
On Friday, Burns was defiant when BostonSportsJournal.com asked if he believed he deserved a third chance to hire a head coach, given the mediocrity he had overseen since he had become general manager in November 2011. (Watch Friday's news conference here.) He had been in the front office since 2005 — he was director of soccer and vice president of player personnel, two separate positions before becoming GM — and since 2007 the Revs had only made the MLS postseason in four out of 11 seasons.
New England has missed the postseason in the last three seasons, and now sit bottom of the Eastern Conference table with three wins in 13 tries.
Exhale, Revolution fans. Celebrate, if you want to. The day you’ve wanted to see for quite some time has arrived.