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Kreis left Salt Lake for NYC to seek challenge

January 10, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Kreis quit Real Salt Lake to become coach of the expansion New York City FC because he wanted a new challenge.

Kreis, who played for Salt Lake from 2005-07 and coached the team for the past six seasons, left Dec. 10 and was introduced by his new club Friday.

“I believe that in this job as in any other job there comes a time when a new challenge is necessary,” Kreis said during a news conference. “I had gotten very comfortable with the surroundings at Real Salt Lake and had, I think, done a lot of things there to build an incredibly successful franchise in an incredible community, and then when an opportunity like this becomes available, I think for me it’s just something that you have to take.”

Kreis, 41, led Salt Lake to the 2009 MLS Cup championship, becoming the youngest coach to win the title. He also led the team to finals in the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League, this year’s U.S. Open Cup and last year’s MLS final. He was 90-71-58 with Salt Lake in MLS, reaching the playoffs in all six seasons, and 111-87-69 in all competitions.

Claudio Reyna, the new team’s director of football, said he wanted an American coach for NYC FC, which starts play in 2015.

“We don’t have to change anything. He knows what he is doing,” said Reyna, a former U.S. national team captain. “He knows the league, as well.”

NYC FC is co-owned by England’s Manchester City and the New York Yankees. Kreis will spend four months in England working with and observing Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

“In all our teams, we want to play a certain kind of football,” Man City chief executive Ferran Soriano said. “And the order of things is: first the philosophy, first how we want to play; then we choose a manager that likes the philosophy and is able to execute it; then we play good football; and then we win. We cannot jump ahead of that.”

Kreis said City’s management understood winning “might not happen overnight.” Soriano looked forward to competing with the New York Red Bulls, who play across the Hudson River in Harrison, N.J.

“There are plenty of cities in the world with rivalries that are enriching the experience,” he said. “As an example, there is another club in Manchester” — a reference to 20-time English champion Manchester United.

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