SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake announced on Tuesday night that Jason Kreis will not return to the club in 2014. Kreis’ contract as RSL head coach ended after the 2013 MLS season, which concluded Saturday with the club’s MLS Cup defeat at Sporting Kansas City.
Real Salt Lake has begun its search for a new head coach, and expects to hire one before the end of next week.
"I'd like to thank Jason for a remarkably successful run during his nine years with Real Salt Lake as both a player and as a head coach," said RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen, who invested in Utah's MLS club in October 2009, prior to assuming full ownership in January of this year. "Jason obviously leaves the Utah soccer scene significantly better than he found it, building the competitive foundation of one of Major League Soccer's elite organizations. We will continue to move forward - quickly - with the 'Team is the Star' ethos that he and our General Manager Garth Lagerwey implemented back in 2007.
"We are certain that the job Jason leaves behind - with both the accomplished veteran core and the glut of promising youth - is quite attractive to potential candidates, and we expect to name Jason's replacement next week."
The first-ever player in club history, Kreis arrived at Real Salt Lake in a Nov. 17, 2004 trade with FC Dallas. He played 2 ½ seasons with RSL, scoring 17 goals in 58 MLS appearances with the Claret-and-Cobalt before retiring on May 3, 2007 to become the club’s second-ever head coach. Kreis had a successful run in charge of Real Salt Lake, transforming the Utah side from a bottom of the table team to a perennial MLS contender.
Kreis’ crowning achievement with RSL came in 2009, when he led the Claret-and-Cobalt to an MLS Cup title in its fifth season with a surprise penalty kick shootout win at MLS Cup 2009 in Seattle over the Los Angeles Galaxy. The youngest-ever head coach to win MLS Cup, Kreis was in charge of RSL as it advanced to three other major finals, leading the team to the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League Final, the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final and MLS Cup 2013.
Under Kreis’ leadership, RSL advanced to the playoffs in six-consecutive seasons, the longest such active streak in MLS. The Claret-and-Cobalt has also hit the 15-win and 50-point plateaus in four-consecutive seasons, becoming the first team in MLS’s post-shootout era to do so when it accomplished that feat earlier in 2013.
Real Salt Lake retired Kreis’ No. 9 jersey on July 4, 2011. As was announced then and remains the case now, that number will not be worn again by another Real Salt Lake player. Kreis is seventh all-time in MLS coaching annals with 90 regular season wins and 327 regular season points. His all-time record across all competitions is 111-87- 69, breaking out as follows: 90-71-58 in the MLS regular season; 7-6-6 in MLS Cup Playoffs; 6-6-1 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup; and 8-4-4 in CONCACAF Champions League.