Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The worst kept head coaching secret in MLS is now official.
Jason Kreis joined New York City FC as their first head coach on Tuesday night following the expiration of his contact from Real Salt Lake, who Kreis just led to the MLS Cup Final. Kreis will now begin preparations for NYCFC’s inaugural season in 2015 while RSL has set its sights on signing a new head coach by the end of next week.
“I’d like to thank Jason for a remarkably successful run during his nine years with Real Salt Lake as both a player and as a head coach,” said RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen in a statement. “Jason obviously leaves the Utah soccer scene significantly better than he found it, building the competitive foundation of one of Major League Soccer’s elite organizations. We will continue to move forward – quickly – with the ‘Team is the Star’ ethos that he and our general manager Garth Lagerwey implemented back in 2007.
“We are certain that the job Jason leaves behind – with both the accomplished veteran core and the glut of promising youth – is quite attractive to potential candidates, and we expect to name Jason’s replacement next week.”
Kreis, who was the first player signed by Real Salt Lake back in 2004, ends his seven-year coaching stint with the club having won the 2009 MLS Cup. He also helped RSL reach the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League final and 2013 U.S. Open Cup final.
“Jason is one of the true pioneers of Major League Soccer, and a leader any team would be proud to have at the helm,” said NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna in a statement. “His skills and experience, together with his commitment to quality football make him the ideal choice to lead New York City FC in its first season and beyond. He has already left a historic mark on the league, both as a player and coach and we have every confidence in him continuing to do so at New York City FC.”
The 40-year-old Kreis’ role with New York City FC will begin in January 2014, when he travels to England to spend time with Premiership associate club Manchester City FC. He is expected to work closely with head coach Manuel Pellegrini, World Cup winner Patrick Vieira and the club’s director of Football Txiki Bergiristain.
“I am looking forward to making my contribution to New York City FC from the very outset,” said Kreis in the same NYCFC statement. “The opportunity to develop the first professional club based in New York City was impossible to pass up as was the chance to immerse myself in the football operations in Manchester observing some of the leading figures in European football. There will be a lot to do before our inaugural season in 2015, but I’m confident that with the support teams in the City organization, we will be well placed to hit the ground running.”
What do you think of Kreis leaving RSL to join NYC FC? Good move for him and the club? Who do you think RSL will appoint as their next manager?
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