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Jason Kreis

New York City FC fires Jason Kreis after club’s first MLS season


New York City FC has parted ways with head coach Jason Kreis, the Major League Soccer club confirmed  on Monday. The former Real Salt Lake had coach had just completed his first season with the MLS expansion team, posting 10-17-7 record in his only season on the sidelines at Yankee Stadium.

From the club’s announcement:

Prior to the start of the season, it was agreed with the coaching team that securing of a playoff place was an appropriate target for this year. A win rate of less than one in three games and a points tally which was the second lowest in the league is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed.

While the challenges of building and integrating a new team are recognized, it was felt by the Board, following a comprehensive review, that there was not enough evidence of the dynamics required to improve the performance of the team for the next season and beyond.

Kreis joined the club after the 2013 Major League Soccer season, when his contract with Real Salt Lake came to an end. In his six-plus seasons at the helm of RSL, Kreis won 102 of his 232 league games and claimed the 2009 MLS Cup.

SEE MORE: If Jason Kreis is in trouble, so is NYCFC.

Kreis also enjoyed a stand-out playing career in MLS, recording 108 goals over the course of 305 games, becoming the league’s first player to eclipse the 100-goal mark. In May 2007, at 34 years old, Kreis ended his playing career to become RSL’s second head coach.

“The decision to part company with Jason and his team after two years of working together has not been taken lightly and this is a difficult announcement for all involved,” team president Tom Glick said.

“We thank Jason for his passion, his efforts and for his contribution to the historic inaugural season of New York City FC …

“We wish him all the very best in what will undoubtedly be a continued successful career in soccer management.”

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NYCFC’s inaugural season came with high expectations, partly due to the club’s signings of stars David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, and partly due to the team’s connection with English Premier League club Manchester City through the club’s mutual ownership, City Football Group. But Lampard’s arrival in New York was controversially delayed while he finished the 2014-15 season at Manchester City, while Pirlo did not arrive until after Juventus, his previous club, had finished its European season.

SEE MORE: Kreis’s firing would confirm MLS fans’ worst fears about City Football Group.

In the interim, the team struggled, particularly with a defense that would go on to allow a co-league high 58 goals. Though the team stayed in the playoff race until late in the season, it rarely found itself in the Eastern Conference’s top six, and speculation about Kreis’s future began shortly after the season concluded.

Highly respected for the work he did in Salt Lake City, the 42-year-old Kreis now becomes the most prominent name on the MLS coaching market. New York, on the other hand, will try to find a replacement, with names like former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira and veteran manager Fabio Capello already linked with the team’s job.

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