Here’s a bit of advice: Circle August 28 on your calendar, because the Orlando City-New York City FC clash on that day, scheduled as part of the MLS season’s second Heineken Rivalry Week, just get a little juicier.
Newly hired Orlando City coach Jason Kreis, who was let go by NYCFC in the offseason after a single season in charge, has opened up about his stint with NYCFC in a wide-ranging interview this week with ESPN’s “Over the Ball” podcast, and he didn’t mince his words.
“I think that the most honest way to say it is that I feel that we were given a job to do and we were allowed to do half of it,” Kreis said. “I thought that we had made ourselves extremely clear, that to work with an expansion team, to be starting a team from absolutely nothing . . . I felt it was completely unfair and downright irrational to remove somebody from that position after one year. I felt that we were on our way to building something that could be successful for a long time, but we weren’t afforded the opportunity to finish the job.”
Kreis will have an opportunity to exact a measure of revenge when Orlando City host NYCFC on August 28, in a nationally televised match on FS1.
For their part, NYCFC can have few regrets about their decision to replace Kreis with Patrick Vieira. After finishing with a 10-17-7 and out of playoff contention last year, the club is currently on top of the Eastern Conference standings — well ahead of Orlando City, who currently sit in 7th place, below the playoff “red line.”
Kreis’s first opportunity to help Orlando City climb in the standings will come this Sunday, when they host the New England Revolution (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
He is clearly excited about his new gig.
“[I am] excited to be down here, really excited to be a part of what I think is going to be one of the best clubs in the league,” said Kreis. “I’m just super excited about everything right now.”
Listen to the full Over the Ball podcast for more from Kreis about his departure from NYCFC, his hopes for Orlando City, and his recent role with the US national team.