The number of coaching vacancies in Major League Soccer increased by one on Tuesday, as Real Salt Lake announced that longtime Head Coach Jason Kreis would not return to the club in 2014. Subsequently, New York City FC announced that Kreis would be the expansion club’s first coach when they take the field in 2015.
Kreis was the first player in RSL’s club history when he came in a trade with FC Dallas prior to its inaugural season in 2005. In May of 2007, he announced his retirement and immediately took the reins as Head Coach and has not relinquished that position since.
In his seven seasons, he transformed Real Salt Lake into one of the most consistent teams in the league. RSL has reached the postseason in each of the last six seasons and is one of three teams to have reached the MLS Cup Final multiple times in that time, winning the championship in 2009 in a shootout over the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field. During that time he also came up short in the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League final, the 2013 U.S. Open Cup final and the 2013 MLS Cup final.
He compiled a 90-71-58 record in the regular season, ranking seventh on the all-time coaches list.
He takes over the coaching duties for what has been an otherwise quiet club at NYCFC and will spend much of 2014 immersed in the culture of New York’s parent club, Manchester City.
REIS RETIRES, JOINS GALAXY STAFF
One day after Pablo Mastroeni and Jimmy Nielsen announced their retirements, 16-year veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis announced his retirement on Tuesday.
He played the last 11 years of his career with the New England Revolution after starting his pro career with the LA Galaxy in 1998. The 38-year-old California native played collegiately and in MLS for Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid at UCLA and with the Galaxy and will now return to the Galaxy as the goalkeeper coach.
A winner of the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup, 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 2002 MLS Cup, Reis was a four-time MLS All-Star and finalist for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year four times and reached the MLS Cup final six times in his 16-year career.
REVS ACQUIRE KNIGHTON
New England didn’t waste much time adding a new goalkeeper after Reis announced his retirement, trading a conditional pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for Brad Knighton.
The 28-year-old Knighton made six starts for the Revs in 2009 after two years as the club’s third-string goalkeeper. He then played one season with the Philadelphia Union and one with the Carolina Railhawks in the NASL before joining Whitecaps FC in 2012. He is 13-11-9 in 33 career MLS starts with a 1.34 goals against average.
VANNEY JOINS TFC TECHNICAL STAFF
Former Sounders FC broadcaster Greg Vanney was announced as Assistant General Manager at Toronto FC on Wednesday, also taking over for Thomas Rongen as the Academy Director. After a 13-year professional career, Vanney served as color commentator on Sounders FC television broadcasts in the club’s inaugural season in 2009, then moved into the coaching ranks on the youth level with Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy with a stop as assistant coach with Chivas USA in 2011 and 2012.
THREE U-23s INVITED TO MLS COMBINE
Major League Soccer announced the 50 seniors that will participate in the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine ahead of the SuperDraft and the list includes three players that played for the Sounders FC U-23s.
University of Washington defender Taylor Peay and Akron midfielders Aodhan Quinn and Eric Stevenson are on the list, along with UW goalkeeper and Seattle native Spencer Richey.
The Combine runs from January 10-14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with MLS SuperDraft to follow on January 16 in Philadelphia.