Kreis as head coach of Real Salt Lake
|Full name||Jason Clarence Kreis|
|Date of birth||December 29, 1972|
|Place of birth||Omaha, Nebraska, United States|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Playing position||Midfielder, Forward|
|1991-1994||Duke Blue Devils|
|1994||New Orleans Storm|
|2005-2007||Real Salt Lake||58||(17)|
|2007-2013||Real Salt Lake|
|2015||New York City FC|
|2016||United States (assistant)|
|2016-2018||Orlando City SC|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
Jason Clarence Kreis (born December 29, 1972) is an American soccer manager and former player. He coached Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer and was previously an assistant coach under Jürgen Klinsmann for the United States men's national soccer team. Prior to that he was the head coach of New York City FC and Real Salt Lake.
Kreis spent the majority of his playing career in MLS in the United States, initially with the Dallas Burn, and later with Real Salt Lake. In total he made over 300 professional appearances, was Major League Soccer MVP in 1999, and is currently tied for the fifth highest scorer in MLS regular season history, with 108 goals. He also earned fourteen international caps for the United States national team.
Kreis played for the Gladiator Soccer Club in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where his parents were among the pioneers who established this first premier/select club within the state. As a freshman at Burke High School in Omaha, Kreis was selected First Team All-State. He remains the only freshman selected to the first team. Following his freshman year, Kreis and his family moved to Mandeville, Louisiana, where he led Mandeville High School to several Class 5A state soccer tournaments, but never won a state title, losing to Lafayette High in the quarterfinals his senior year. While at Mandeville, he was also a standout performer for the Baton Rouge United Jags, a U-19 Select team that finished as national runner-up in 1991 and won the prestigious Capital Cup tournament in Washington, D.C. He played collegiately at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
In 1993, Kreis played during the summer for the Raleigh Flyers of the USISL. In the summer of 1994, he returned to Louisiana to play for the New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers, also of the USISL. After finishing his collegiate eligibility in 1994, Kreis signed his first professional contract with the Raleigh Flyers in the spring of 1995.
On August 1, 1995, Kreis signed a contract with Major League Soccer as the league prepared for its inaugural season. Kreis was drafted forty-third overall by the Dallas Burn in the fifth round of the MLS Inaugural Draft. He scored the first goal in Burn history. In 1999, Kreis was the first American-born player to be named league MVP after he led the league in points and goals, and also registered the first 15-goal, 15-assist season in league history. The five-time all-star led his team in goals five times and in points four times.
On June 26, 2004, Kreis scored his eighty-ninth league goal against D.C. United, moving past Roy Lassiter to the top of the league's all-time goal-scoring chart. Kreis remained the MLS all time goalscoring leader for more than three years until Jaime Moreno surpassed his record on August 22, 2007. He ended his ninth MLS season with career totals of 91 goals and 65 assists for 247 points, plus added four goals and two assists in the playoffs. He remains Dallas' all-time leader in games played (247), goals (91), assists (65), and points (247).
On November 17, 2004, Kreis was traded to expansion team Real Salt Lake, becoming the first player in the club's history. Kreis scored the first goal in Salt Lake's history in its second match, a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy. In doing so, he became the first player in league history to do so for two different teams, as he scored the inaugural goal for Dallas in 1996 as well.
On August 13, 2005, he became the first player in MLS history to score 100 career league goals, during a 4-2 loss to the Kansas City Wizards. The achievement was unexpected from observers, especially out of a 1996 class that included other candidates like Eric Wynalda, Brian McBride, or Joe-Max Moore; Kreis had never been considered a particularly dangerous goalscorer and had only lead the league in scoring once, in 1999.
Kreis was left unprotected in the 2006 MLS Expansion Draft by Real Salt Lake and subsequently chosen by Toronto FC. He was reacquired by Salt Lake on November 17, 2006, with the club sending partial allocation money to Toronto in exchange.
He retired as a player on May 3, 2007, to take over as head coach, finishing with 108 career goals.
With only 14 international appearances, Kreis was never able to translate his club success into one with the U.S. national team. He received his first cap on August 30, 1996, against El Salvador at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Kreis scored his only international goal on September 8, 1999 in a 2-2 draw against Jamaica in Kingston.
|1.||September 8, 1999||National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica||Jamaica||1 - 0||2-2||Friendly|||
On May 3, 2007 Kreis retired from professional competition and was announced as the new head coach of Real Salt Lake, retiring as a player and taking over the coaching reins from John Ellinger. At the time of his hire, Kreis became the youngest active head coach in MLS at 34 years and 127 days. He led Real Salt Lake to its first-post season playoff appearance in 2008 and in 2009 he coached the team to its first MLS Cup championship. Kreis is the youngest coach in MLS history to win the MLS Cup. Following the 2009 MLS Cup win, Kreis would lead Real Salt Lake to playoff appearances in every subsequent season through 2013, including an appearance in the 2013 MLS Cup, which RSL lost to Sporting Kansas City in dramatic fashion on penalty kicks. Kreis also guided Real Salt Lake to a very good CONCACAF Champions League campaign in 2011. Real Salt Lake won Group A and made it all the way to the final, only to lose to 3-2 on aggregate to C.F. Monterrey.
Real Salt Lake signed Kreis to a contract extension on March 24, 2011 that kept him at the RSL helm through the 2013 season, after which he left RSL to become head coach of New York City FC. Real Salt Lake has retired Kreis' number 9 jersey from his playing days.
On December 11, 2013, Kreis was announced as the first head coach of New York City FC, having reached the end of his contract at Real Salt Lake and declining an extension offer from RSL so he could take the New York City FC position. The move came just four days after he missed out on lifting his second MLS Cup with the Utah team, losing on penalty kicks to Sporting Kansas City. It was revealed in the announcement that his contract, starting on January 1, 2014, would see him begin by traveling to Manchester in England to familiarize himself with the set-up of franchise-owners Manchester City.
Kreis' inaugural season with NYCFC ended in disappointment. The club finished with a 10-17-7 record in the regular season placing 8th in the Eastern Conference, failing to make the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs. He and the club parted ways on November 2, 2015.
On July 19, 2016, Kreis was hired by Orlando City SC to replace outgoing inaugural coach Adrian Heath. At Orlando City, he reunited with two of his assistant coaches, Miles Joseph and C. J. Brown, and led the club to its first win in two months during his first game in charge.
On June 15, 2018, Kreis was released by Orlando City.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|USA||League||Open Cup||League Cup||North America||Total|
|2005||Real Salt Lake||24||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||24||9|
|Real Salt Lake||May 3, 2007||December 10, 2013||261||112||85||64||42.91|
|New York City FC||January 1, 2014||November 2, 2015||35||10||18||7||28.57|
|Orlando City SC||July 19, 2016||June 15, 2018||63||23||28||12||36.51|
Kreis scored the first goal in RSL history - and became the first player to score the first goal for two clubs, having scored Dallas' first goal in 1996...