Real Salt Lake Manager Jason Kreis may surprise us all and stick around for yet another season in Utah. He’s got a lot of reasons to stay, starting with an area of the country he and his family love, and a terrific core of players who seem to have plenty of achievement ahead.
But he sure sounds for all the world like a man who just coached his last game at Real Salt Lake, like a young man about to leave home and go off to college, so to speak, out to see what else is out there in the big world.
He has the New York City FC position in pocket – if he wants it, that is. Speculation is high that Kreis will take the job, even though he surely would have preferred to go out a winner. His words and actions in Saturday’s post-game setting do nothing to dissuade those who think the man is gone.
Kreis was quite philosophical about it all, still not answering questions directly about his future, as he has steadfastly refused for weeks now. But as my ProSoccerTalk colleague Richard Farley said it, Kreis seems like a guy who “has already taken all this and put it in a time capsule for himself.”
Kreis talked, for instance, about the hectic last two weeks, about the travel arrangements and family and tickets and all the little hassles that come with a big event like this one. He said he thought those last two weeks were hard.
“But what happens over the next two days is going to be really, really hard,” he said.
That sound like a guy who is about to announce a decision to sign on for another Rio Tinto hitch?
Kreis, typically affable but intense as they come, is someone who does not take losing well. But he was surprisingly tranquil about Saturday’s disappointment in an eventful, exciting match that went 10 rounds into a penalty kick tiebreaker. Disappointed, for sure, but composed and reflective about it all.
He went on and on about how proud he was of the group, how appreciative he was of a season that still looks like some over-achievement, considering some pretty notable roster moves. He almost seemed more melancholy than disappointed.
“I’d be really, really pleased, just over the moon, with all that the group did this year. They over-achieved,” Kreis said. “They proved me wrong, with what I thought, and it’s just been and incredible, incredible year.”