[MLS 2015]Jason Kreis, introduced to the New York on Friday, says his new job as head coach of the expansion New York City FC is the perfect fit. After seven years as coach at Real Salt Lake, the year off from coaching -- which will include six months as an observer at Manchester City -- will give him a chance to breathe and recharge before returning to the sidelines in 2015.
“I’ve been thinking about this now for the past two years or so,” the 41-year-old Kreis said. “I needed a little bit of a break. I think in our profession, you can literally drive yourself insane if you’re not very careful and you don’t have the right support structure. For me, I kept thinking of creative ways to look for opportunities that would mean I could maybe step away for a little bit and breathe. Everything about [this opportunity] kind of fit in exactly with what I wanted for my career.”
Claudio Reyna, NYC FC's first hire as director of football, says Kreis was the perfect choice for head coach -- even if he was a Duke grad.
“He was at the top of the list," said Reyna, a Virginia product, "and it was very clear to me when we met that he was the right person to fit the philosophy we have here. We’re just bringing him in. We don’t have to change anything. He knows what he’s doing. … It was always important to me to have first an American coach, but an American coach who specifically had a tremendous amount of knowledge of the league. Jason ticked all the boxes.”
While the press conference was intended to introduce Kreis to the New York media, the issue of the NYC FC stadium problems did not go unquestioned. MLS's original plans were to build a stadium in Queens, but NYC FC's owners, Manchester City and the New York Yankees, have been working on a deal to build a stadium in the Bronx, near Yankee Stadium, but that deal has run into heavy opposition as new New York mayor Bill De Blasio took office on Jan. 1.
Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano said NYC FC was looking at “several sites, not just one or two, in the Bronx and elsewhere" and a permanent home would be just that: a home.
“Wherever we build the stadium," he said, "it has to make commercial sense and it has to make civic sense. We need the community to embrace us. We need to go a place where we can say it’s home, where the community says it is home and they like us in the tradition of all the big soccer clubs and sports clubs in the world. That takes time.”
ORLANDO INKS MOLINO. Orlando City signed its first player -- midfielder Kevin Molino -- for its MLS debut in 2015.
The 23-year-old Trinidad & Tobago international was the 2012 USL PRO MVP. He'll play in USL PRO again in 2014, Orlando City's last season before joining MLS.
“Kevin was out of contract with us and was being courted heavily in Europe and the States," said coachAdrian Heath. "He’s turned down deals from several MLS teams to stay with us in Orlando. That says a lot about his love for this club,” said Heath. “He will be a great asset for us again in ’14 and moving forward into MLS.”