NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Kreis quit Real Salt Lake to become coach of the expansion New York City FC because he wanted a new challenge.
Kreis, who played for Salt Lake from 2005-07 and coached the team for the past six seasons, left Dec. 10 and was introduced by his new club Friday.
"I believe that in this job as in any other job there comes a time when a new challenge is necessary," Kreis said during a news conference. "I had gotten very comfortable with the surroundings at Real Salt Lake and had, I think, done a lot of things there to build an incredibly successful franchise in an incredible community, and then when an opportunity like this becomes available, I think for me it's just something that you have to take."
Kreis, 41, led Salt Lake to the 2009 MLS Cup championship, becoming the youngest coach to win the title. He also led the team to finals in the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League, this year's U.S. Open Cup and last year's MLS final. He was 90-71-58 with Salt Lake in MLS, reaching the playoffs in all six seasons, and 111-87-69 in all competitions.
Claudio Reyna, the new team's director of football, said he wanted an American coach for NYC FC, which starts play in 2015.
"We don't have to change anything. He knows what he is doing," said Reyna, a former U.S. national team captain. "He knows the league, as well."