It’s tough to gauge just where Jason Kreis is in ongoing negotiations with Real Salt Lake, where ownership just revealed that contract talks are underway. Kreis’ deal is up at the end of the season.
RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen is saying some wonderful things about his coach, and rightly so. In some ways, Real Salt Lake’s highly successful manager is in a great spot. But in other ways, not so much.
Kreis remains one of the best young minds of the game, just 40 years old but already with a growing cupboard of accomplishments in his only pro coaching assignment to date. (Kreis retired as an RSL player in 2007 to move into the organization’s head coaching position.)
He was the youngest manager to claim an MLS Cup when the Utah side took top honors in 2009. This year, Kreis has guided a young team – one expected to reach “good” but perhaps not “great” – to the pole position in the ongoing Supporters Shield race. Having shed the relatively expensive salaries of Will Johnson, Fabian Espindola and Jamison Olave, that really is quite an accomplishment. And that is not to mention the U.S. Open Cup final coming up in Utah.
Then again, how good is Kreis’ negotiating position? He loves the club. He has a great relationship with GM Garth Lagerwey and has lived in Salt Lake for almost 10 years now. He’s also got some great young talent to build around, so the future at Rio Tinto is nothing to feel badly about.
None of that can be lost on ownership, which will surely want to keep Kreis – but would also surely love to get the discount rate.
In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.
But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.
[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]
In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.
For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.
From JPW on Merseyside:
“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”
The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.
And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.
Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.
If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.
Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.
Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.
“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”
So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.
As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.