[MLS CUP 2013]After Real Salt Lake's shootout loss to Sporting Kansas City, head coach Jason Kreis did not directly address the issue of his future with the MLS club, but he did admit the next few days would be hard.
"It’s interesting that the last couple of weeks have been so hectic with all the details to consider and all the preparations for the match and families coming to the Cup and hotel rooms and tickets and everything else," Kreis said after Saturday's MLS Cup. "But all of that was pretty easy. What happens over the next couple of days is real hard."
Kreis' contract with Real Salt Lake, where he has been head coach since 2007, expires at the end of the year. He has said he would not make a decision on his future until after the season though Brian Straus of SI.com tweeted last week that Kreis was "almost 100%" to join New York City FC, the MLS expansion team expected to begin play in 2015.
He said the mood in the RSL after the shootout loss was "real bad" and asked the media not to enter the locker room if they had the choice not to.
“It’s bad. It’s real bad. Not just to lose the game in the fashion we did, but that it’s the last game of the season and that there’s inevitable changes and that the team as it is won’t be the same next year. There will always be guys that leave and guys that come in.”
Kreis, 40, took a team that was floundering when he retired and was named the Real Salt Lake coach in May 2007. Within a year, he had RSL in the Western Conference final and in two years it won MLS Cup -- in a shootout over the LA Galaxy. It has made the MLS playoffs in each of six full years in charge. Only Dominic Kinnear at Houston among active coaches has been with the same team longer.
After an early exit in the 2012 playoffs, RSL undertook a makeover of its roster but came back to finish second in MLS and the U.S. Open Cup.
“I’d be really, really pleased with all that the group did this year," Kreis said. "Their work ethic, what they achieved. I think they proved me wrong and it’s just been an incredible, incredible year.”
He expected the core group to remain intact and again be a contender.
"There’s a ton of really young, talented players with this group," he said.
He didn't want RSL to be remembered for the titles lost -- the Concacaf Champions League final in 2012 or the U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup this season.
“It’s remarkable that this group has put themselves in so many positions to win things and unfortunately things, one thing or another, just haven’t gone our way," he said. "It’s easy to look at that in a negative way, but I don’t think we should because I thought we played outstanding tonight. It wasn’t like we came here to defend or bunker in. I’m really proud of this group and I think it’s a fantastic team.”