Kreis departs RSL to become first NYCFC head coach


Photo by Michael Janosz/


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?

Share your thoughts below.

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74 Responses to Kreis departs RSL to become first NYCFC head coach

  1. Cheese and Rice says:

    Scary. The guy now actually has resources to get multiple legit DPs vs. taking lemons and making lemonade. He pulls this off, he’ll be the first American coaching a big club in Europe in 5 years.

    • AristotleTimVickery says:

      and probably by the end of the decade…while still in his 40s

    • King George Arsenal FC says:

      Please define “Big Club.”

      If he gets to a mid-table club in Europe that should be viewed as a success, I’ll bet against him and state for the record that he won’t manage a big club in Europe one day.

      • CeezNYRB says:

        I’m curious to know what you and AndrewShain base your assumptions on? I’m sure you two use reasoning and logic, yes?

    • @AndrewShain says:

      Ha, no. Of course this depends on what your view of a big club is. No top flight club would even consider hiring a manager straight out of MLS. If, and that’s a big if, he goes and does extremely well, I still can’t see him getting a job higher than League One in England.

      • RealityCheck says:

        Aren’t you guys the “Harbingers of Doom”! How ’bout we let this guy coach his first game for NYCFC first, huh? I’m sure he will do fine. I don’t give a rat’s ass whether he coaches in Europe or not. I want him to be successful here. Let’s see what JK can do on a real budget. I’m looking forward to it.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Oh my word, now we have to root for our coaches to go to Europe too ?

      • Alex says:

        I actually think it’s pretty important. It’s long been said that coaching in the states is far behind the level in Europe – with all due respect to Bruce Arena, Bob Bradley, Kreis, and others who have had success here. I’m not whining – just stating a fact.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          Yup… it’s a fact it’s long been said. Then again… it’s also a fact that many things that have long been said are not facts.

    • DC Josh says:

      I’d rather have him coaching the USMNT. Him or Caleb Porter to succeed Klinsi please.

  2. T$ says:

    Kreis is a turd.

  3. MrMaxican says:

    Anyone have a list of the open coaching positions and available coaches?

  4. sciroccer says:

    Im happy for him, but think it’s an error in judgement. My bet is 2 years from now he’s coaching for someone else in the MLS. NYFC will dump him after low success. He’s an excellent coach, but that ownership will expect fast results. Not to mention, Jason will be unhappy trying to deal with big headed DP’s. And “NO” Europe wont be calling from this job. I hope I’m wrong, Jason is a great guy, but I’d put my money on it that in a few years this will be seen as a mistake. And a big DUH!!!! to Mr. Hansen for not taking care of this first thing in 2013. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!!!! Mr. Hansen, Have you been watching the Utah Jazz since Corbin took over? Cuz, Your about to see that at RSL. Welcome back to the bottom. Knowing what I do about RSL, I think will be saying Coach Frazier,Coach Caser, or Coach Brown by week’s end.

    • rph says:

      So many grammatical errors, so little time.

    • wood chip zip says:

      Have to agree with this. Not only will he have to deal with prima dona DPs that think they can come in to MLS and light it on fire but Man City will be sending him young players on loan to develop. In short, Kries will not have “his” team and wont thrive the way he did at RSL. best of luck to him though.

      • TomG says:

        The Whole loan issue has been disproven multiple times. MLS rules don’t allow multiple easy loans from dedicated clubs outside.

    • sciroccer says:

      Opps! Didnt see the CJ Brown news. Everythngs unravelling now. I agree with others, RF will cost to much, so RSL will get lazy and hire JC. Mr. B. Manny once said the goal was 5 cups in 10 years, I guess he didnt realize how stupid Hansen is?

    • Neruda says:

      I disagree with this. Kries has had to much success with cash strapped small market RSL to not have the benefit of the doubt.

      Nycfc have more resources for the players Kries wants. Reyna knows what he’s getting and Kries is going to fuse his team is the star approach with whatever is good from man city. The pressure from ownership will be there but Kries isn’t scared off from that. Year one he will guide his team to a decent record (50% winning) and by year two they’ll be in the playoffs. I’m not predicting Kries to coach in Europe or anything but being successful in MLS is not a stretch.

    • solles says:

      correct me if im wrong (which you cant, as i know im right) but DelRoy Hansen had a contract on the table for Kreis, perhaps several, at various times, that Kreis did not sign. To me he was headed out the door well before MLS cup.

  5. Coco says:

    so, free agency for coaches but not for players?

    • Neruda says:

      That’s one way to look at it but why does it matter? Players put the final product on the field so it makes sense to continue with centralized control of player contracts, at least for now.

      • Coco says:

        show your work

        • Neruda says:

          Single entity is there to control player salaries so that MLS can centrally manage contracts so that free agents don’t get teams to bid up and up. Other major sports are riddled with mediocre players making bank because of the risings art demands due to free agency. It’s out of control spending that MLS wants to manage until soccer takes a real foothold in the country.

          It’s worked this far but MLS needs to raise he cap at least incrementally. Just a quick look at the waiver draft in MLS tell the story of how hard it is becoming to manage the a small cap for teams.

          link to

          • frank from santiago says:

            slowleftarm….so far so good. i’m enjoying it quite a bit. plus it’s helping that weather is in the 80’s right about know. moved from SF a few months ago, and i’ll continue to follow mls as much as I can. espn were putting 1 game a week, hope it continues next season.

  6. NE Revs says:

    Very nice move. With any luck I’ll be hating this team and cursing their success for years to come.

  7. Indeed says:

    Officially hate him.

    -RBNY Fan

  8. RealChick says:

    Did the execution of homosexuals, the violent subjugation of women, and the enslavement of Indian guest workers ever come up in his negotiations with Mansour?

    • Ted Drews says:

      About as much chance as Obama had bringing up similar issues with Raul Castro. Didn’t seem to bother Obama a bit. And if Kreis is to follow anyone’s lead, who better than the BHO?

    • Umlaut says:

      If I had to guess, I’d say no. But that’s just a guess.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Comments about Obama aren’t relevant here but when you’re talking about Sheikh Mansour FC, the human rights abuses in the country his family runs are totally relevant

      • Naugles says:

        Mansour = Castro
        Kreis = Obama

        That Kreis should not be concerned about Mansour’s abuses is better understood when considered with Obama’s lack of concern with Castro’s abuses.

        Perhaps they are both disgusted with that happens in those countries but know they can’t do anything about it, at least in their current capacity. Perhaps they both don’t find the abuses a big deal.

        I don’t know.

        • Naugles says:

          If they are disgusted, then Kreis and Obama deserve a pass.

          If they both -in their particular situations- don’t, then that’s a different story.

    • Goose Gander says:

      Please leave politics off this board.
      Thanks :)

  9. jimcrist says:

    Interested to hear what him working with the City brass entails. Just hanging out around them and fetching them coffee, or actually something useful?

    • sciroccer says:

      Agreed, that coaching staff is going to dislike this idea. For them it’s going to be like having to watch the bosses kid at work. No discredit to JK, but they don’t care who he is.

      • Goblin says:

        Actually, this sort of arrangement is not unusual at all. Coaches working on their UEFA coaching licenses visit clubs all the time to learn, observe, and be mentored by other coaches. There is a collegial aspect to coaching development in Europe that I think is being overlooked.

        His name might not mean anything to them when they first meet, but to assume he will be fetching coffee or stuck with menial tasks is just plain nonsense. My experience with soccer people is that they love to talk about soccer so JK will fit right in.

      • go euro or go home says:

        he certainly will not miss having your uninformed perspectives standing behind him

    • Neruda says:

      If Kries is asked to get Starbucks you’d better believe he’ll run his ass off barely cracking a smile. He’d be one stoic gofer.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Please. He is not there to get the “great” coaches of Europes coffee.
        I will never get why American soccer fans are so insecure.

        I hope he gets to touch the head coach of Man City’s warm up jacket……

  10. Timothy says:

    I fear that if I celebrate this too much, Chivas USA will successfully lure Wilmer Cabrera away from the Rapids. Stupid karma…

  11. byob el paso tx says:

    Why are people making this a big deal. The big deal is that they stuck with an MLS coach and didn’t go for a european coach or south american badass coach. I would have gone for an MLS top assistan and a top european coach or south american. . Its new yotk, they have the money and power. Coulda shoulda woulda :-) i had marcielo bielsa in nycfc, kreis in seattle and bradley in vancity.

  12. @AndrewShain says:

    RSL fans need to chill out, you still have Garth. Him and Vermes are the two best technical directors in all of MLS. He will find a coach that can build on what Kreis has started. My money is on Frazier, but I would love to see Wynalda get a shot.

    • Neruda says:

      Wynalda would be interesting. His coach style already seems to fit the team
      identity but perhaps a little too hands off.

    • Chris says:

      Wynalda is dead wrong for RSL. His personality and ego would result in him coming in and scrapping everything Jason’s worked for years to build, so that he can put his own imprint on the team. That’s not what RSL needs.

  13. Neruda says:

    Who’s RSL going to hire now. Fraser or Brown would be fine. But how badass would it be if RSL snuck in and hired bob Bradley. I don’t think its going happen but it would be awesome.

    After the coach is hired management needs to get another impact dp has is talking about.

  14. Limey says:

    Good for him, not an RSL fan but the guy has done a great job and he has class. Hope he does well.

  15. dude says:

    Interesting move. Be warned, MLS clubs. If Kreis comes and tries to trade for a talented part of your spine in what seems like a reasonable deal, just remember- it all started when he got Kyle Beckerman from Colorado. Totally changed their identity, for the better.

    Good luck, Kreis.

  16. bizzy says:

    Bob Bradley to RSL (well DC United first if possible…lol)!!!!….that’ll be awesome. He can definitely raise the bar higher for Real Salt lake.

  17. byob el paso tx says:

    Seattle could of ended with bob, also dc united if they had gitten rid of olsen. If i was vancity, dallas, rsl i would just throw money at bob and see.what happens. But why doesnt MLS teams go for different blood, its worth the risk.

  18. Idaho Brian says:

    As a die hard RSL fan, I wish Kreis nothing but the best. Yes, he is taking a risk…but as Jason said when he was given the reins at RSL…”Fortune Favors the Bold”. Good Luck Jason!

  19. beto says:

    couldn’t think of a better candidate to start an MLS team around. Great coach and someone who has experience building an MLS team from the bottom up.

    In MLS you have coaches/FO/clubs that try to win using expensive and/or international players and coaches and try to become big time teams in a small budget league like NY, LA, Chivas, Seattle, TFC, Montreal to mixed results and then you have Houston, SKC, RSL, Portland’s of the league that just know how to play within the MLS rules a win with efficient teams. Kreis at NYCFC could be interesting as he is bringing his small market-efficient club know how into the biggest budget/expectations team that MLS has ever seen.. it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

  20. TheSoccerDude says:

    As an RSL fan, I am very sad, but do wish JK well. He built our team and made us matter, and I am truly thankful for that.

    He earned this opportunity.

  21. Fabio says:

    Welcome Mr Kreis !!!