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Contract talk now hovering around RSL manager Jason Kreis

Aug 19, 2013, 3:06 PM EDT

jason kreis Getty Images

It’s tough to gauge just where Jason Kreis is in ongoing negotiations with Real Salt Lake, where ownership just revealed that contract talks are underway. Kreis’ deal is up at the end of the season.

RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen is saying some wonderful things about his coach, and rightly so. In some ways, Real Salt Lake’s highly successful manager is in a great spot. But in other ways, not so much.

Kreis remains one of the best young minds of the game, just 40 years old but already with a growing cupboard of accomplishments in his only pro coaching assignment to date. (Kreis retired as an RSL player in 2007 to move into the organization’s head coaching position.)

He was the youngest manager to claim an MLS Cup when the Utah side took top honors in 2009. This year, Kreis has guided a young team – one expected to reach “good” but perhaps not “great” – to the pole position in the ongoing Supporters Shield race. Having shed the relatively expensive salaries of Will Johnson, Fabian Espindola and Jamison Olave, that really is quite an accomplishment. And that is not to mention the U.S. Open Cup final coming up in Utah.

Then again, how good is Kreis’ negotiating position? He loves the club. He has a great relationship with GM Garth Lagerwey and has lived in Salt Lake for almost 10 years now. He’s also got some great young talent to build around, so the future at Rio Tinto is nothing to feel badly about.

None of that can be lost on ownership, which will surely want to keep Kreis – but would also surely love to get the discount rate.

  1. hildezero - Aug 19, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    If Klinsy left US Soccer today, Kreis would be coach tomorrow…

    • schmutzdeck - Aug 19, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      JK is going nowhere until 2014 and if they do well my guess is he’ll sign on for another tour of duty.

      Which means Kreis’ options are limited to another MSL team and how attractive is that? Been there done that.

      Going abroad would be the only other challenge for him and that is very daunting. Greg Berhalter, the only US manager I am aware of in Europe, was fired in July.

      That is why Bob Bradley’s Egypt gig is so significant for American coaches. Leaving aside the incredibly admirable example Bob has set as a professional, an American Ambassador and as a human being, he is showing the world that Americans can succeed coaching foreign teams.

      Hopefully perceptions are changing.

  2. danielofthedale - Aug 19, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Just a hypothetical, but if Kries wanted to move to Europe would blue even be able to get a sniff of a Championship or corisponding level job or would his ceiling be League One or an equivalent level job on the continent?

    • talgrath - Aug 19, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      It’s highly unlikely Kreis would find a job outside of North America, for now. As successful as RSL has been, not many people in Europe have even heard of them. What’s more, since Kreis hasn’t really had any big names on his MLS squad, he hasn’t shown the ability to herd cats that is require for a major European league. Bruce Arena is more likely to see a European coaching offer than Kreis.

  3. talgrath - Aug 19, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    This is, in many ways, the push and pull of contract negotiations whenever you are looking to renew a contract. On the one hand, Kreis likes where he is at and his bosses like having him there, on the other hand Kreis’ success is well-known in his profession and he now commands a higher wage if he takes his talents elsewhere. RSL, not being one of the most popular and profitable teams in the league, can’t spend a huge sum of money to keep Kreis; on the other hand, if Kreis does not feel that he is being paid enough, he might take his talents to a competitor (a lot of teams in MLS would be happy to hire him on) which could hurt revenue and on-field success. I’m very curious to see how this plays out in the coming months.

  4. bellerophon30 - Aug 19, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Wouldn’t he have to get his coaching badges to manage above a certain level in England in the first place? Does he have them? Something to ponder if he’s going to move.

  5. charliej11 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    He will stay at Salt Lake…but consider this Kreis, if you are reading….Seattle has more money and Sigi is on the hot seat…not making the playoffs, which is very possible, will not go over well.

    Come to Seattle Jason.

  6. mikeevergreen - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Jason Kreis, like it or not, EuroSnobs, is good enough to coach in the Premier league.

    • charliej11 - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:54 PM


  7. wesbadia - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    As Steve said, Kreis has spent 10 years in SLC, has gone through the ups and downs of a second tier market both on field and off, and has been met with nothing but continued success during his tenure. The club is better off with him in the position than they were with a former US national team assistant coach in their first couple seasons. That speaks loads in favor of Kreis. Where’s the downside in negotiations?

    If anything Hansen buying the club out at the beginning of the year bodes better for Jason and the club as a whole because Hansen has access to more capital than Checketts did. It’s actually a perfect storm to lock down Kreis for another 4 or 5 years.

    Looking at the other side of the coin, you’ve also got to ask yourself that if someone like Kreis spent the bulk of his playing career in a poor soccer market in Dallas (only winning one trophy during that time), why would Kreis willingly leave SLC where he experiences success on a weekly basis, nevermind that they’re a smaller market with less press. Remember, the team is the star, and that applies to the coaching staff as well as the players.

    Jason Kreis is not leaving SLC. He and Lagerway are the only reasons the club is performing the way it is, and Hansen would prove to be a fool if he changed that formula. And I don’t believe Hansen to be a fool.

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