It’s been less than two weeks since Jason Kreis was named the new head coach at Orlando City. The 43-year-old had been on the sidelines since last November, when he was controversially let go from NYCFC. In the aftermath of his departure, and the intervening months since, he’s kept his thoughts largely to himself.
That all changed this week.
Kreis was a guest on ESPN’s Over The Ball podcast this week. For the most part he talked about his enthusiasm over the new job, saying he was “[r]eally excited to be a part of what I think is going to be one of the best clubs in the league.”
During the podcast, the topic turned toward his former employers, who had him spend a year with Manchester City as essentially an apprentice in the City Football Group program. There was a consensus among fans and observers that it was unfair and a bit baffling that NYCFC would invest so much in Kreis in order to have him build up the new expansion team only to cut him loose after one year. It seems Kreis agrees with that assessment.
”I think that the most honest way to say it is I feel that we were given a job to do, and we were allowed to do half of it. I thought that we had made ourselves extremely clear that to work with an expansion team, to be starting a team from absolutely nothing — there was no team there before, there was no youth academy, there was no second team, there was no training facility, there was no stadium — there was literally nothing.”
”To build a team and facilities and start an academy and do all of these things over a one-and-a-half-year time frame, I felt it was completely unfair and downright irrational to remove somebody from that position after one year. And so I felt that we were on our way to building something that could be successful in our own time, but we weren’t afforded the opportunity to finish the job.”
So there you have it. This isn’t particularly surprising, but there is something about hearing it from the man himself.
Kreis’ first official game in charge was last night, a 2-1 loss to Stoke City in a friendly. His first MLS game is this Sunday when Orlando host the New England Revolution.