Dec 10, 2013, 9:22 PM EDT
We all suspected it would happen, and all suspected it would happen quite quickly. Sure enough, New York City FC has named Jason Kreis as its very first head coach.
This comes about 72 hours after Kreis’ team, Real Salt Lake, fell to Sporting Kansas City in the 18th MLS Cup final.
So Kreis will work with former U.S. national team standout Claudio Reyna, the club’s director of football operations, putting to use all the resources from its well-heeled Manchester City ownership outfit. In fact, Kreis will soon travel to England to spend time with the Premier League title contenders.
He has plenty of time, as the league’s 20th team will not begin playing until 2015.
From the club’s official release (which actually came out of Edelman, the New York-based PR firm; so, nothing the best for NYCFC, it seems):
The role, which formally begins in January 2014, will see Kreis first travel to England to spend time at English Premier League associate club Manchester City FC. There, he will work closely with Head Coach Manuel Pellegrini, World Cup winner Patrick Vieira and Txiki Begiristain, the club’s Director of Football, Champions League winner, and former Director of Football at FC Barcelona.
During this time, Kreis will be immersed in all aspects of Manchester City FC, observing in particular, the club’s approach to coaching, training, and player development, with the goal of applying similar approaches to New York City FC.”
Of course, the other side to this story is a man leaving the club where he built this coaching career, Real Salt Lake. Players and staff had seemed resigned to the fact that the club’s second head coach, and the one who built a small market team into one that competed perennially with the league’s financial heavy hitters, would soon be moving to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Kreis, now 40, was the youngest manager to win MLS Cup when Real Salt Lake and its relatively star-less ways prevailed over the star-heavy LA Galaxy in the 2009 final.
Overall, RSL made the playoffs six consecutive seasons. And it came some tantalizingly close to becoming the first MLS team to win CONCACAF Champions League, climbing to the 2011 final.
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