Kreis admits MLS Cup Final could be his last match with RSL

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By FRANCO PANIZO

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Win or lose, Saturday’s MLS Cup Final could be Jason Kreis’ last game as head coach of Real Salt Lake.

Kreis admitted as much during RSL’s first 2013 MLS Cup press conference on Thursday night, just two days before he leads the club to the championship match against hosts Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park.

Kreis did not specifically mention New York City FC, the expansion club that is reportedly interested in his services and is set to begin play in 2015, when asked about his uncertain future. But he did admit that it is possible he departs from Real Salt Lake once the season officially ends and his contract expires.

“The truth of the matter is that the home match against Chivas (USA) was our last home match of the regular season and at that time I thought there was a possibility that that would be the last match that I would coach for Real Salt Lake,” said Kreis. “Then we went into the second playoff match against the (LA) Galaxy and I thought that might be the last home match that I had to coach with this group and then we went into the Portland match and I thought that match be the last match and the second Portland match I thought that might be the last match.

“We go into this match and yes, it might be the last match that I get to coach with this group and I’ll soak it up, for sure, every single moment of it. But that decision has yet to be made, it’s something that I think I’ve done a pretty decent job at putting on the backburner and I’ll continue to do so for another 48 hours.”

The 40-year-old Kreis has been RSL’s head coach since 2007 and was the first player acquired by the club prior to that. He managed the club to an MLS Cup victory in 2009 and also led them to a CONCACAF Champions League final in 2011 and U.S. Open Cup final this season.

Real Salt Lake have said they are attempting to re-sign the successful head coach.

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What do you think of Kreis’ comments? Think it’s all but a foregone conclusion that he leaves the club?

Share your thoughts below.

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40 Responses to Kreis admits MLS Cup Final could be his last match with RSL

  1. Kyle says:

    Would Kreis, a small market guy for years, be able to handle the glitz and heavy media attention that will come with NYC? I understand MLS still doesn’t receive as much coverage in New York as the Yankees or Knicks, but there’s going to be a difference between treatment from Salt Lake media and New York,

    • slowleftarm says:

      To be honest, I think there is probably more media attention in SLC where they are the only pro team in town, than there would be in NYC.

      • Olli says:

        They’re not the only pro team in town. They’re covered behind the Jazz and local college football/basketball. Some local news stations are better at covering RSL than others, but they’re still pretty low on the pecking order.

      • Ben says:

        seriously, the Jazz?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think the “NY media” arguments probably over-state the extent of the spotlight on NY soccer teams. It’s not the Yankees, Jets, or Knicks…..it’s MLS. The spotlight wil be stronger than a small market, and on the high end of MLS, but not as harsh as the establshed big league teams. If people cared as much as is being suggested the NYRB would play to capacity every week.

      I think the pressure will come more from (a) trying to end the NY MLS curse and (b) trying to build one of his craftsman teams for a team and city which encourages splashy and often foolish acquisitions. City’s spending model under this ownership has netted only the one championship, last day of the season.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Without even quantifying it or going into whether or not MLS coverage in NY could be accurately described as glitz and heavy media attention, I’ll just say that…. if first year guy Petke can handle it, Kreis is probably up for the challenge. He’s a pretty poised dude.

  2. soccerguru says:

    Yes he would.

    He´s smart, confident, and has wit.

    He would immediately command the locker room. With the right pieces he would do just fine. And the press for soccer in NY is NOTHING like for football or basketball or baseball. Not yet.

    Kreis=future national team coach.

  3. Jesus Kreis says:

    It’s been a good run, Win or lose on Saturday he’ll always be #RSLFAMILY.

  4. sock her says:

    So long as NYC FC let’s him build his team they way he wants I don’t see why he can’t do well there. If NY has indeed made him an offer it’s a great move on their part for trying to snatch up a proven and successful MLS Coach rather than looking towards Europe for someone completely alien to the MLS system.

  5. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Give me da money – Kreis

  6. Brain Guy says:

    This whole situation has puzzled me. If NYC FC has been in contact with him, doesn’t that constitute tampering? And isn’t it strange, not to mention a huge disservice to his current club, for him to be discussing this now?

    • bb says:

      No it’s not strange, nor a huge disservice. Have you ever followed sports before? This happens all. the. time.

      • Brain Guy says:

        Yes, I follow sports. And I also know that you don’t openly go after someone else’s coach without the team’s permission. And that it’s bad form to be negotiating your next job when you’re getting your team ready for a championship game. I’m a realist, but I also wonder how RSL players feel with their coach flirting with another team.

        • Chris says:

          RSL’s owner allowed him to fly to Manchester to meet with the ownership group for NYCFC (Man City) a few months back. Don’t ask me why, because it sure seems to me that it messed with RSL and has been a distraction ever since.

  7. Cheese and Rice says:

    RSL was garbage before Kreis took over. On a meager budget in a small market, he created one of the most consistent, and most attractive, teams in the league. He is wicked smart, a ruthless competitor, daring, and gets the most out of his players. They are willing to run through walls for him.

    When Klinsmann is done, the Kreis era will begin. I think he will end up taking the US to new heights in the World Cup during his time.

    Never bet against Kreis. Current RSL owner did that by low balling him in the Spring on his contract. Bad move, owner. Later.

    • Hass Bin says:

      Do you know him, or have you known him in the past?

      I knew him as a youth player. We traveled, played in regional camps together, where he would show his quality was exceptional. Your words ring true, for the Jason I knew back then. His competitiveness is at a level that I don’t understand; it breeds consistency. I must say I didn’t know he was so damn smart though.

      He once played keeper when we were tied with a team, to ensure that no goals would be allowed, and, he could still go forward and score. He made some unbelievable saves……freaky athletic kid, gymnast like and fast.

      I hope he coaches the USMNT someday, because he does appreciate the beauty of attacking soccer.

    • Northzax says:

      Oh c’mon, Kreis isn’t even close to ready for the NATs. Maybe the NATs of a decade plus ago. If he wants that job, he should leave MLS. Sign on as an assistant to Klinsy, or talk your way into a job in Europe, even as an assistant. Klinsy is gone ’16 at the latest, almost certainly next summer, no way USSF hands the keys to a 41 year old coach with one trophy or even two and zero experience outside concacaf. His best bet is to go for the ’22 cycle after getting some chops outside MLS.

      • Cheese and Rice says:

        If you get a chance, ask people about Kreis that have either played with or for him. Your opinion will change. He’ll be the next coach.

        • Matt C says:

          Slight agreeance with NOrthzax. I would love to see Jason go to Europe as an asst at top club. Learn some of the nuances about the international game and they way things are done at another level…call it a sabbatical of sorts. And go from there.

          That said, I do think he is a leading candidate at some point too coach the USA. I just think he needs some add’l coaching and managment exposure outside the US.

          yeah, i know, Arena didn’t have that and he did well in South Korea. I think we’re in a different era now.

          And Cheese&Rice, i agree with you too.I know people who know Jason very well…and they speak to his massive quality.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I think he requires this test in NYC to see if he is a RSL flash in the pan or can in fact coach any team to which he is given the keys. Arena can build a winner anywhere he goes (UVa, DC, LA, US even NY to an extent), for example, whereas we have no idea if Kinnear or Kreis can win in a different situation. If Kreis has grand ambitions of this nature he needs to show he can coach different teams to similar success.

  8. solles says:

    Kreis is totally going to NYCFC. For their sake I hope they try and field a team in USL at least, they’re going to be at a competitive disadvantage going into MLS in 2015 never having played a game as a franchise.

  9. Travis says:

    Im not that in tune with RSL things but how did they allow his contract to run out? He is clearly one of the top coaches in the league, this should have been negotiated like a year or two ago. I know the NYCFC rumors have been going for a while but it hasn’t been a year plus has it?

    • Chris says:

      Dell Loy Hansen (a minority share owner in the team) bought out the majority owner, Dave Checketts, and in that process somebody decided to “wait and see” about renewing Kreis’ contract. If we lose him, Hansen’s going to have a lot of very unhappy fans and season ticket holders to appease.

  10. Coco says:

    i noticed that all the promos for the game just call it “MLS Cup” . Why aren’t they calling it MLS Cup Final?

    I was at my friends house and the promo came on about the game and it said “MLS Cup Dec 7th” and my friend, who is a big soccer fan said, “MLS Cup starts Dec 7th? cool”. I replied that no, that the final is on Dec 7th and the Cup has been going on for almost a month. My friend then replied “well why didn’t they say it was MLS Cup Final?”

    It just made me think. MLS is really really bad at promotion and branding.

  11. Ianlinnarz says:

    I hope he stays but I can see him leaving what would do if I was in his shoes I would because you already made your team full of depth and talent and only players the new York team would get is players from the epl and I think it’s better to get more north and southamerican soccer playes so that America can learn to love soccer as they do in Europe so that sports like hand egg and basketball sports that all you have to be is the tallest and big guy out there as in soccer though you can be plata’s height and still destory players with skill not just being bigger so I hope Jason kries stays #RSLTID #SOCCERTID

    • tedro star says:

      Here you go : .,,,,,,,…. . . . , , ,

    • Chris says:

      NYCFC can’t field a team of only EPL players because of MLS’s salary cap structure. And bringing in more foreign players isn’t what grows the sport in the USA (see NASL of the 1970s-80s), it’s the development of domestic talent. Take a look at our USMNT rosters over the past year and see how many of them are MLS players, and you’ll have a good idea of how MLS has been growing the sport in this way.

  12. Mao says:

    Coco, you are right MLS cup final sounds better than MLS cup! :)

  13. Hincha Tim says:

    The relationship between Garth Lagerway and Kreis has been a big part of Rsl’s success. If I were JK who was the GM would be a big factor in the decision whether to sign as a coach for a team.

  14. wood chip zip says:

    hopefully he is not going to the NY soccer club but is instead taking a job overseas, like Sheffield Wednesday

  15. John says:

    F..C..D!! F..C..D!! F..C..D!!

    • Chris says:

      Never going to happen. The way FCD dropped him after his years of loyal service when they gave him up to RSL so easily, he’d stay in Salt Lake over going to Dallas.