"Really excited to be a part of what I think is going to be one of the best clubs in the league," rising Orlando City SC boss Jason Kreis told host Kevin Flynn on this week's Over the Ball podcast.
Indeed, that's all well and good.
But the juiciest cuts from the ESPN pod came when Flynn asked Kreis about his time at NYCFC, the club that removed him after just one season.
KREIS: I think that the most honest way to say it is I feel that we were given a job to do, and we were allowed to do half of it. I thought that we had made ourselves extremely clear that to work with an expansion team, to be starting a team from absolutely nothing -- there was no team there before, there was no youth academy, there was no second team, there was no training facility, there was no stadium -- there was literally nothing.
FLYNN: Other than that, you were all set!
KREIS: To build a team and facilities and start an academy and do all of these things over a one-and-a-half-year time frame, I felt it was completely unfair and downright irrational to remove somebody from that position after one year. And so I felt that we were on our way to building something that could be successful in our own time, but we weren't afforded the opportunity to finish the job.
This basically jives with the prevailing opinion here at Hudson River Blue: putting aside the advances New York City has made on and off the field in Year Two under Patrick Vieira, Kreis's removal was pretty authentically unfair.
Who -- seriously, pick any coach in the world -- could have led that inaugural NYCFC squad to the playoffs? Who on earth could have shored up the hopeless, batty defending, the lack of scoring threats beyond David Villa, and the catastrophic eleven-match winless run that derailed the team's post-season dreams before the regular season was even halfway through?
At this point, there isn't much need to dwell on the merits of the decision-- New York City is top of the East, and Kreis has a head coaching job again. But to hear even a man as measured and deliberate as Kreis continuing to speak in such forceful terms is notable in itself. There's a pretty obvious chip on his shoulder now. The man will certainly require no extra motivation to win when the Lions host NYCFC down in Central Florida on August 28th.
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Finally, one last Kreis tidbit about his experience "career shadowing" in England with Manchester City in 2014:
From a business and learning perspective, I could tell you that probably the biggest thing I walked away [with] is that we know what we're doing in this country. And I feel like we have a lot of people that perhaps aren't in the day-to-day of working at the highest level in our country have a feeling and an opinion -- and even some coaches that do work [at] this level -- have a feeling and an opinion that we don't know as much as others, and the truth of the matter is that we do. We need more resources, we need more staff to tackle all the things that need to be tackled, but from a purely soccer perspective, and a purely training athletically perspective, we know what we're doing.