Why Jason Kreis Is Lining Himself Up Perfectly for the USMNT Job in the Future

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2013

SANDY, UT - NOVEMBER 10: Head coach Jason Kreis of Real Salt Lake waits for the game to start against the Portland Timbers at the Western Conference Championship MLS soccer game - leg 1, on November 10, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, the hottest name in American coaching found a new home as Jason Kreis was named the first head coach of New York City FC:

Before Kreis' NYCFC team hits the field in 2015, he will spend some time in England with the staff of the team's owners at Manchester City.

While conquering Major League Soccer with a big market team that is expected to have a big payroll is the next step in Kreis' career, it is not harmful to think of what his next career step may be in a few years' time. 

That next step, if all goes well in New York City, could be earning the head coaching job for the United States men's national team. 

Kreis has shown from day one of his managerial career, which began at age 34 with Real Salt Lake, that he is able to get the best out of his players on an everyday basis. 

The former Dallas Burn and Real Salt Lake player also has shown that he can achieve high levels of success with a mix of CONCACAF-based internationals and lifetime MLSers. 

During his time with Real Salt Lake from 2007 to 2013, Kreis only missed out on the MLS Cup playoffs once, which was in his inaugural year as head coach: 

Jason Kreis' Success at Real Salt Lake
SeasonWestern Conference FinishPlayoff Finish
20083rdLost in Conference Finals
20095thWon MLS Cup
20102ndLost in Conference Semifinals
20113rdLost in Conference Finals
20122ndLost in Conference Semifinals
20132ndLost in MLS Cup

In the last six seasons, Kreis guided RSL to a finish in the top three of the Western Conference on all but one occasion.

As for the lone time he placed under third place in the West during that span, the year was 2009 and RSL ended up winning MLS Cup on penalties over the Los Angeles Galaxy. 

In all honesty, Kreis was due for a new challenge that will let him spend whatever Manchester City and the New York Yankees partnership want to bring in talent. 

With the arrival of New York City FC in 2015, Kreis is expected to have a roster full of big names and young products ready to qualify for the playoffs, and potentially win MLS Cup, in their first season. 

If Kreis can prove that he can manage whatever big names enter the Big Apple during his tenure, he could be on the shortlist for the next United States managerial vacancy.

There is no guarantee that Jurgen Klinsmann will stay around after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but it would be very beneficial to the United States for the German to remain in charge for a few more years, maybe even until the 2018 World Cup in Russia if all goes well. 

However, if Klinsmann is not calling the shots for the Yanks in Russia, the man who could be doing that is Kreis. 

The shortlist for the United States job, if vacant before 2018, would likely include Kreis and New York Red Bulls manager Mike Petke as the top American candidates. There will certainly be some foreign names linked with the job as well given the success of Klinsmann since his takeover in 2011. 

If U.S. Soccer were looking in the domestic direction after the Klinsmann reign, which they should, Kreis would be the ideal candidate.

But, before Kreis can succeed at the international level, he must prove that he can work wonders at the domestic level with a potentially superstar-laden roster at New York City FC. 


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