Fifteen games into Orlando City's roller-coaster season, Jason Kreis
is out as the Lions' head coach.
On Friday night, Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao
announced the decision to
part ways with Kreis and assistants CJ Brown
and Miles Joseph
. A third assistant, Bobby Murphy
, will remain in charge while the team searches for a new head coach.
In playoff hunt.
The move comes with Orlando City in sixth place in the Eastern Conference but riding a six-game losing streak with
losses of 3-0, 5-2 and 3-0 in its last three games. The slide follows a run of six straight wins.
In 2017, Kreis' first full season in charge, the Lions also started hot but then
collapsed. They won six of their first seven games -- then just four times the rest of the season.
"This is a very difficult decision to take, but sometimes in sports we must make tough
decisions with the best future of the organization in mind,” Leitao said. “I have enormous respect for Jason and the work his team did in Orlando. He arrived in a difficult moment and is
leaving with a legacy of respect and professionalism. Now is the time to look forward, keep our heads high and continue pushing toward the many goals we set this season."
Of MLS expansion
teams, only Toronto FC, which took eight seasons to make the playoffs, went more seasons without making the playoffs than Orlando City, who failed to advance to the postseason in its first three
seasons. Defensive issues
. Orlando City spent heavily to upgrade its team in the offseason with the arrival of Sacha
, Justin Meram
, Josue Colman
and Oriol Rosell
. But the Lions have never resolved their defensive problems. After Wednesday's 3-0 loss at
Montreal, they are tied with San Jose for the worst defense in MLS with an average of 2.06 goals allowed per game.
Kreis, 45, joined Orlando City in July 2016, halfway through its second
season, and leaves with a 21-29-14 record in MLS play. He spent seven seasons as the head coach at Real Salt Lake, winning MLS Cup in 2009, finishing second in the league in 2013 and taking RSL to the
Concacaf Champions League final in 2011.
But he has now failed to replicate that success with Orlando City and New York City FC, where he left after its first season, having accumulated
an 10-17-7 record