Mr. Kreis Goes To GermanyMLS coach goes on his own study abroad program
by Chris Enger | Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Full disclosure: I am a huge Real Salt Lake fan and unapologetically so. They are my local team and the team that converted me from soccer hater to passionate soccer fanatic. So forgive me as I talk a little bit about their coach Jason Kreis as he pertains on a United States level.
Many were shocked when the news hit that then current captain Jason Kreis announced his retirement because he accepted the job as coach replacing John Ellinger after 2.5 horrible seasons at the helm.
Kreis had a catch phrase, “Fortune favors the bold” and he had a plan. He made some errors along the way, which is to be expected for a first-time manger wither literally no previous coaching experience, but he always showed an affinity to learn and to grow.
This growth helped makeover what was once the laughing stock of MLS -- into 2009 MLS Cup champions and the nationally-beloved darlings of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League.
So, what does Jason Kreis do with his shortened offseason? He went to Europe. Of course he is probably scouting some future RSL recruits while he is there but what really intrigued me is the other reason he was there.
He told ESPN 700 (Salt Lake City, Utah), “I just spent a week there watching some first-division clubs do some training, trying to pick up on some stuff, trying to learn, trying to improve myself.”
Trying to improve himself.
As we see this new generation of former MLS players-turned-skippers, Kreis is setting the standard and showing Olsen, Heaps and other rookie coaches that there is nothing wrong with improving and trying to grow. Kreis could have been content with the status quo especially after achieving so much so early in his coaching career, but he isn’t.
This trip of self awareness and Kreis’ growth is similar to what younger players go through via Generation Adidas contracts and training stints in clubs across Europe during the offseason. These younger players come back with a sense on how professionals in Europe prepare and train. How is this different for a coach going across the pond? It isn’t.
Kreis’ drive to better himself will only help bring the level of managerial competition in the United States and MLS up, which will not only benefit the level of play in the league but with the US Men’s National Team as well.