Jason Kreis makes case for keeping NYCFC job

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

Bronx, N.Y. – Embattled New York City FC head coach Jason Kreis reflected on reports of his imminent firing and his season with the club after an open training session at Yankee Stadium Friday.

“It’s difficult, it’s not fun to be in this position where things like this are being thrown around you but it’s a part of the job,” Kreis said. “It’s part of the job when you’re working with City Football Group and New York City and a city like New York. I understand the pressures of coaching. I understand that if you don’t do a good enough job and make the playoffs then you’re going to be under pressure and speculation.”

Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl first broke the news that Kreis would be fired and replaced by Manchester City Elite Development Squad head coach Patrick Vieira. Empire of Soccer was able to independently confirm that report.

The case for Kreis to lose his job is strong. With one of MLS’ highest payrolls, NYCFC will likely finish eighth in the Eastern Conference. Their 16 losses are the third-most in the league this season. Kreis’ various lineup selections, tactics and decision to limit Kwadwo Poku’s playing time caused many to scratch their heads.

Despite missing the playoffs, Kreis said he views the season positively.

“I look at it in a positive way because we have ten wins,” Kreis said. “Without this last win that I’m hopeful for on Sunday, even without that, we’re the fourth-best expansion record of the 2000s. We’re the best expansion record ever with a team that didn’t have the team there for five years or prior. All of the teams that will finish above us had teams in existence for five years or more before their first MLS campaign so I think we have a lot to be proud of.”

Kreis admitted that he was naive about some of the aspects that go into building a team from scratch. Although the challenges that come with piecing a soccer team together caught him by surprise, he said the pressure of the New York market did not.

“I have higher expectations of myself than any of you could hope to have,” Kreis said. “I think the pressure comes from within with me and the stuff that comes from outside is just that. It’s on the outside always.”

It is not the first time Kreis has been the subject of loud coaching rumors. His departure from Real Salt Lake to NYCFC remains one of the most publicized moves in MLS history. He said that decision to leave and build up NYCFC continues to motivate him.

“You don’t leave a job like I was in and a club like I was in to take an opportunity somewhere and only want to do it for one year,” Kreis said. “For me, this project is about a third of the way complete. It takes time to build a successful team, a successful club in this league, it takes more time than one year.”

Kreis’ status rests upon an overall club review of NYCFC to be conducted by the City Football Group brass. If he is fired, this Sunday’s match in front of an expected audience of 30,000 will be the last time he will stand on the field at Yankee Stadium as a head coach in New York.

“I was remarking this morning that as you look around at the field during this training session and as you think back to all the games, especially the first one, and Sunday I will do my best to soak up the environment, this is a special building,” Kreis said. “It’s a special stadium in an iconic place in the country. I think we need to be appreciative of the fact that we’re playing in this great place.”

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  • The insider

    He’s gone.

    I’ve been saying it for months.

  • EnglishRBNY

    He does make a good point. Unlike other expansion teams, they came from nothing. Having the team not finish rock bottom is a success to be fair. Pitty their fans didn’t understand this going into the season. But I think they got the picture now. Doubt city group do though.

    • DanGerman

      Most NYCFC fans realize that this season was not going to be successful on the pitch, just look at the Kreis poll on this website and 70% of the vote is to keep him. I personally don’t believe the rumors as the club has stated before the season that building a team takes time.

  • Anonymous

    If he stays, they’re just going to force another expensive, ill-fitting celebutard into his lineup.

    Oh, and Reyna should be fired

  • David Carlin, Farm Animal Molester

    Actually Dan. Many NYCFC fans boasted how they were going to win MLS cup right out of the box. An 8th place finish couldn’t happen to a better bunch, but I feel bad for Kreis. This is what CFG does to managers that don’t produce immediate results ( see man city sr. )

    • The Realist

      Exactly. So many of their fans were so annoying at the outset that they deserve to suffer.

    • DanGerman

      I don’t doubt that their were some fans that irrationally thought that but they are in the minority. Most fans are aware this team wasn’t “whole” until 2/3 of the season was over. If you look at the teams record after everyone was here they played better but it was too late by then.

  • The Insider

    Ownership has been speaking regularly to Klinsman. Could be some more star power on the way.

    • The Insider

      Or perhaps not.

      Perhaps only Dan German knows for sure.

      • DanGerman

        I thought YOU were the insider not me. But I see you can’t keep up the b.s