[MLS SPOTLIGHT]Long-time assistant coach Jeff Cassar has been named the new Real Salt Lake coach, replacing Jason Kreis, who left to take the head coaching job at expansion team New York City FC. Cassar is just the third coach in RSL history after John Ellinger and Kreis.
Cassar, 39, has been with RSL since May 2007, when he was hired as an RSL coach working with its goalkeepers. He has been the No. 1 assistant coach since 2011.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Cassar edged out former RSL assistant Robin Fraser for the job.
“We’re very excited for Jeff to become the third head coach in Real Salt Lake history,” said Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen. “Jeff’s been a crucial member of the RSL Family since 2007. His terrific leadership abilities, strong character and understanding of our locker room, tactics and overarching club culture will allow us to continue to compete for trophies in 2014 and beyond.”
Cassar, who started in goal for the 1993 Under-20 World Cup team that reached the quarterfinals in Australia, played 11 seasons in goal (1996-2006) for three MLS squads before retiring to become FC Dallas’s goalkeeper coach in January 2007. He made 79 appearances for Dallas (1996-97, 2003-06), Miami (1998-2001) and the MetroStars (2002).
He joined Kreis in RSL when his former Dallas teammate retired and was named the RSL head coach in the middle of the 2007 season. He replaced Fraser as the No. 1 RSL assistant in 2011 when Fraser was named the Chivas USA head coach. Fraser is now an assistant at New York.
Cassar, a Michigan native, has served as the U.S. men’s national team goalkeeper coach on two separate occasions under Jurgen Klinsmann since the start of 2012.