No Apologies: Kreis doubles down on his critical team comments

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Jason Kreis is a fiery competitor. He was as a player. He is now as New York City FC coach. So to a certain extent, his post game comments calling out the desire of his team at the end of a humiliating loss against the Columbus Crew should be expected.

But was the NYCFC boss speaking in the heat of the moment? Did he go to far? And does he have regrets about what he said?

Asked about his post game observations after practice Thursday afternoon, Kreis did not waiver. In fact, he doubled-down on his comments and challenged his team to prove him wrong.

“I am a natural competitor. I am an emotional guy. I am never going to apologize for that,” Kreis said. “Occasionally, I am going to speak loudly about some things I care about. I spoke loudly about the thoughts I cared about and I didn’t apologize for those because that is how I truly felt.

“I just want to continue to make the impression upon everybody that we have to give our best. If we give our best, I am never going to have a complaint.”

Kreis fell under scrutiny shortly after NYCFC’s 2-1 loss to Columbus at Yankee Stadium, taking a very public and very harsh tone in relation to his players’ performance.

“We need to work really hard,” Kreis said. “We need to show — the players need to show — if they want to be here and they want to be a part of this. I know the coaching staff does, I know the coaching staff cares an awful lot about this club and about the job we’re attempting to do. But I’m not so sure that all the players do.”

Reflecting on those comments, Kreis clarified that the issue may not have been effort. Instead, he focuses on leadership and belief; two areas where he believes the team has fallen short over the past two matches.

“What I was attempting to say was that by the end of the game, there wasn’t enough heart there,” he said. “For the most part the guys gave a good effort but at the end of the game after we had the second goal scored upon us, I thought a lot of guys quit and I feel that two matches in a row, there was an element of quit in our group which I haven’t seen for the entire season.

“It is something that is frankly unacceptable to me and to this club and probably to the fans. I want to make sure this group has no quit no matter what happens over the next seven matches as well.”

Those last two matches were heartbreakers for NYCFC. A late goal torpedoed the club’s chances at home against Columbus. A week prior, the LA Galaxy simply ran over NYCFC 5-1 at the StubHub Center.

As stand alone cases, both losses would sting NYCFC just by the way the results unfolded. However, with the club’s playoff hopes on the line, Kreis felt doubly disappointed with the performance on the field.

“It comes down to when you are down 2-1 with ten minutes left in the game, is there some belief there? Is there a real caring about can we score another goal?” he said. “What I saw was a bunch of guys that put their heads down and basically stopped.

“We have some very experienced players on this team, both on the world level and an MLS level. All of that experience has to count for something. People need to step forward and take charge.”

With the season winding down and seven games remaining, Kreis hopes his club has received the message loud and clear.

“We still have to believe it is possible because it certainly is. We have to continue to work and continue to try to improve. We have a lot of new guys that joined us this summer. We aren’t a finished product. I would love for us to be a finished product right now going into a playoff stretch but we are not,” he concludes. “We have to continue to do our best and give our best.”

 

 

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  • Texas heat

    He should get pirlo,Lampard in his office and tell them, it’s now or never.
    We play in the east, a sucky conference.
    Hey pirlo you run like a grandpa and can’t defend.
    Lampard, stop being a baby and take over the game if you really are that good.

  • Kevin

    I’m not a fan of NYCFC at all but why should he have to recant anything he’s the coach. If he’s pissed off how his team did then he has every right to call them out. Football and hockey coaches do it all the time. I think more coaches should do it without worrying about hurting their millionaire athletes feelings. Villa called out his entire team after getting hammered by the Galaxy. I think the media over blows what is just a competitive edge in coaches and athletes.