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Moving the Jason Kreis-NYCFC story forward: would an MLS Cup make him more likely to bolt?

Nov 25, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT

Kreis 3

We may as well get this conversation started, because the narrative is sure to chew on like a smoked turkey leg over the next two weeks, the days leading up to MLS Cup 2013.

Jason Kreis may have already coached his last match at Rio Tinto Stadium. The secret leaked out weeks ago that New York City FC’s list of potential managers started with Kreis, who is 40, but already has six MLS seasons on his managerial resume. The big interest from NYC FC hardly arrived as a surprise; we can make arguments for and against the man’s move into a far higher profile position.

In fact, we already have made the case for and against … weeks ago.

So let’s add some “new car smell” to this one. Here’s the updated point to debate: If Real Salt Lake wins MLS Cup, does that that make Kreis more or less likely to remain in charge at Rio Tinto Stadium?

Logic would clearly dictate that Kreis would be more likely to move forward, to a new East Coast address. After all, speaking only in terms of MLS matters, what more would the man have left to accomplish in Utah at that point? That would be his second MLS title in five years, something only Bruce Arena and Dominic Kinnear have done so far. While that’s hardly the stuff of “dynasty,” it’s a checklist of achievement that any manager could be damn proud of.

(MORE: What we learned in RSL’s win over Portland on Sunday)

Yes, Kreis still has some CONCACAF and U.S. Open Cup demons to conquer; they have certainly caused the coach and his Utah club some pain. But if the man’s goal is to establish a wider reach of accomplishment (beyond MLS Cups, that is), he probably stands a better chance in New York, at a club sure to be tip-top in resource and opportunity.

There is, of course, one other way to look at this:

RSL will be a slight underdog on Dec. 7, the road team to a tough, talented and now playoff-tested Kansas City bunch. If Kreis and Co. fall short, does that make him less likely to grab for the bright, shiny object in New York?

As I laid out in the post linked above, the unknown unknowns in New York may be a little scary. As for RSL, that stable of young bucks makes the job at Rio Tinto potentially profitable (achievement-wise and, apparently now, finance-wise, too) for years to come.

  1. tylerbetts - Nov 25, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    I don’t know that the result of the match has that much bearing on Kreis’ decision. I would hope he wouldn’t let the emotion – whether high or low – from one match – no matter the stakes – dictate that kind of long-term decision. I might be singing a different tune if he hadn’t already won a cup with RSL. But, he’s done that. So, it’s not like losing to SKC would make him feel like he didn’t accomplish for RSL what he wanted to accomplish for RSL.

    I think he’s probably already made his mind up, and only he knows where he ends up next year. Selfishly, I hope it’s NYCFC. As a fan of MLS at large putting someone like Kreis in the biggest market with some of the best resources gives MLS a chance at a very, very good club. And, success there might open doors for Kreis to do some trailblazing.

    • charliej11 - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      I like how you give Kriess credit, he deserves it, of course.

      Not to state the obvious, or rip on your new New York team, but what kind of chance does he to land at a place that makes a CONCACAF playoff final, and two MLS Cup Finals over the last 5 years… is 100% he lands at that type of place if he stays.

  2. danielofthedale - Nov 25, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    I think a second MLS does make it easier for him to make the move. Like was said earlier, two MLS Cups does not leave much more to accomplish in Salt Lake. He could chase a dynasty but that is more legacy building and at just 40 he is probably far to young to think about legacy stuff now. A lose and be can look at this and say we can make another run at it.

    And as a MLS fan I hope he stays at RSL. RSL will never have the money to spend with the likes of LA, NYRB, Seattle, or NYCFC but with a guy like Kreis leading the ship they will always have a shot. Keeping the mid and small market teams viable is critical to the league.

    • talgrath - Nov 26, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      I would agree with everything except the last part, I’d rather see Kreis succeed at NYCFC, as that could lead to bigger, better things, like coaching in the Premier League, that will help bring attention to MLS far more than him continuing to coach in relative obscurity. If an MLS coach can go to the Premier League and have success, that signals to other people and other countries that the US and MLS aren’t just some soccer backwater anymore; that is far more valuable than a little extra parity in the league.

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