After nine years as a player and a coach, Kreis is leaving the franchise to become the new head coach of the expansion New York City FC beginning in 2015.
Kreis was a player for RSL from 2005-2007 before leaving the field for the sideline, where he turned the franchise from the laughingstock of the league to a champion. Kreis led RSL to the MLS Cup in 2009 and lost a thrilling shootout to Sporting Kansas City in the MLS Cup final on Saturday.
In his seven years as head coach, Kreis compiled a record of 102-77-60. He led Real to six consecutive playoff appearances, reaching the MLS Cup final twice.
In a statement released by NYCFC, Kreis said, "I am looking forward to making my contribution to New York City FC from the very outset. The opportunity to develop the first professional club based in New York City was impossible to pass up as was the chance to immerse myself in the football operations in Manchester observing some of the leading figures in European football. There will be a lot to do before our inaugural season in 2015, but I’m confident that with the support teams in the City organization, we will be well placed to hit the ground running. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone associated with Real Salt Lake, including its fantastic fans for the many special years I spent there. I wish them all the very best for the future."
NYCFC is an associate club of Manchester City.
RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen released a statement saying, "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. 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 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."
NYCFC general manager Claudio Reyna added, “Jason is one of the true pioneers of Major League Soccer, and a leader any team would be proud to have at the helm. His skills and experience, together with his commitment to quality football make him the ideal choice to lead New York City FC in its first season and beyond. He has already left a historic mark on the league, both as a player and coach and we have every confidence in him continuing to do so at New York City FC.”
Kreis is the only player in franchise history to have his number retired. When he retired, he was the all-time leading goal scorer in MLS.