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.