The New England Revolution have parted ways with head coach Jay Heaps, sources confirmed to Goal on Monday night.
The news comes after a week that saw the Revs suffer a pair of emphatic defeats, including a 7-0 thrashing against Atlanta United with New England down to nine men.
The recent losses effectively took New England out of playoff contention, leaving the Revs seven points behind the sixth-place New York Red Bulls despite having played one more match.
Hired after the 2011 season to replace longtime coach Stevie Nicol, Heaps spent six seasons in charge of the Revolution, leading New England to an MLS Cup final in 2014, which the Revs lost to the LA Galaxy in extra time.
Things have gone downhill for the Revs since that MLS Cup appearance, with a first-round playoff exit in 2015 before the club missed out on the playoffs on goal difference in 2016. New England tried revamping its roster last offseason, bringing in new defenders to help the team return to the playoffs. But the Revs instead have had the worst defense in the Eastern Conference, and a 10-14-5 record.
Rock bottom came Wednesday in a 7-0 loss to Atlanta United. Although the Revs were down to nine men, the blowout served to rip open wounds that had been festering within the organization through what had become another disappointing season. By the end of Saturday's 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City, it was clear that Heaps' once-ironclad job security in New England had eroded.
With Heaps gone, the pressure will now be on general manager Mike Burns to help turn things around for an organization with a widespread reputation for frugality, unpopular treatment of players and a dismal track of player acquisitions. Burns has been the team's general manager for the past six seasons — he was named to the position at the same time Heaps was hired as head coach — and was the vice president for player personnel for four seasons prior to that. Burns will now be tasked with appointing the team's first new head coach since 2011.
A standout player for the Revolution, Heaps spent nine seasons playing for New England from 2001 to 2009, developing the ties to the organization that eventually led to him being hired as the team's coach despite having no head coaching experience.
There is no word yet on who will replace Heaps, though Revs assistant Tom Soehn appears to be a leading candidate to finish out the season as interim coach. Soehn has served as an MLS head coach before, with D.C. United and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Heaps is the fifth MLS head coach to be let go this season, following Jeff Cassar (Real Salt Lake), Dominic Kinnear (San Jose Earthquakes), Curt Onalfo (LA Galaxy) and Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids).
The Revolution return to action on Saturday to take on MLS leader Toronto FC.