FOX Soccer Exclusive
MLSPR: Kreis the coach of the future?
RSL record a credit to Jason Kreis
RSL’s win over Chicago last weekend stretched its unbeaten home streak to a league record 23 games.
Since Jason Kreis took over he has made RSL a difficult team to beat and its high tempo style of play at home has given it the building block to be one of the top teams in MLS. When you consider that Chicago came into the match with two big name DP’S and a foreign coach, the game shows you just how far this team has come under its young coach.
Dominic Kinnear has long been considered the best American born coach in MLS but Kreis has overtaken him with the work he has done while in charge at Salt Lake.
He has already led his team to an MLS Cup and they are now right in the thick of the race for the Supporter’s Shield this season -- and all this has been done with a workmanlike squad rather than big name players.
The U.S. job was up this year but it would have been too soon for Kreis to take on that kind of responsibility, but if he continues to build on his impressive start to his coaching career, then the U.S. Soccer Federation won’t have to look far for Bob Bradley’s successor.
The Klinsmann fallout
It's no secret that the U.S. Soccer Federation held talks with Juergen Klinsmann about taking over the reins of the national team, and Klinsmann’s recent comments confirm that once again the issue of control was the major stumbling block in the German taking over.
Klinsmann, like any coach, wanted full control, and when the U.S. federation refused to back up their verbal agreement with a written one, the former German coach walked away from the negotiating table.
The puzzling thing for me is why would the U.S. Federation agree in principle to give complete control and then not want to put it in paper?
I can understand if there were reservations about Klinsmann because he doesn’t have an enormous coaching resume. He bombed as coach at Bayern and the job offers don’t seem to be piling in for him, but why would Sunil Gulati ever say that he would grant Kinsmann full control if there were concerns about his ability to do the job?
And if there were reservations then why interview him in the first place?
This whole episode brings into question the Federation’s process on deciding who would lead the national team into 2014 and makes you wonder if Bob Bradley is in the job because other top names refuse to work under the same kind of parameters.
Did Henry really mean to injure Hartman?
MLS: June 23-25
|Thursday, June 23|
|Saturday, June 25|
|San Jose||0-0||LA Galaxy||Recap|
|Real Salt Lake||3-1||Toronto||Recap|
|Sunday, June 26|
|MLS Scores | Table | Fixtures|
Thierry Henry’s attempt to smash the ball into the back of the net after Mehdi Ballouchy’s goal for the Red Bulls went horribly wrong and the French International ended up inadvertently injuring Kevin Hartman and creating a youtube video classic.
Henry has received a lot of criticism for the incident and the league fined the Red Bulls striker $2,000, but the drama surrounding the incident has been over the top.
It is unfortunate that Hartman, who should be crowned MLS Goalkeeper of the year, was injured on the play, but when you look at the incident again it is pretty obvious that there was no intent to injure on the part of Henry.
When Henry found out that Hartman was injured he apologized and that should now be the end of it.
Henry has been no stranger to controversy over the last few years with his infamous handball sending France to the World Cup, but on this occasion the talented striker can be absolved of any blame.
The Crew in freefall
The Crew has conceded seven goals in their last two games, both losses, but it is their play at the attacking end that is frustrating their head coach Robert Warzycha.
Despite being the third top scorers in MLS, Warzycha claimed that that his side “couldn’t buy a goal” after their home loss to Seattle. The Columbus head coach was not shy about calling out his top striker Guillermo Barros Schelotto, but it is harsh to point the finger at the little Argentinean.
The loss of Robbie Rogers to injury has affected the balance of the side going forward while Steven Lenhart is still a work in progress. Lenhart’s game has improved this season but he doesn’t always give the Crew the outlet they need, and when he doesn’t hold the ball up it stops Schelotto receiving it in dangerous positions.
The Crew has been the best team in MLS over the last few years but they are starting to show some cracks, and with the postseason just around the corner, there may not be enough time to steady the ship for a deep playoff run.
On to this week's MLS Power Rankings ...
1. Real Salt Lake: The longest unbeaten home run in MLS history is just one of the reasons that RSL tops the power rankings.
2. Los Angeles Galaxy: The Galaxy played poorly against D.C. last weekend but still managed to pick up a win to remain top of the Supporter’s Shield standings.
3. FC Dallas: Kevin Hartman has been in superb form and his injury is a huge blow to this powerful Dallas outfit.
4. New York Red Bulls: Not too many coaches in MLS would leave Juan Pablo Angel out of the starting lineup but that is exactly what Hans Backe did last Thursday against Dallas.
5. Colorado Rapids: Omar Cummings and Conor Casey may well be the best striking duo in MLS.
6. Seattle Sounders: If Blaise Nkufo can build on his performance against Columbus then Seattle can be once again considered as a contender for honors this season.
7. San Jose Earthquakes: Chris Wondolowski’s form this year is one of the main reasons San Jose is in position to qualify for the postseason.
8. Kansas City Wizards: The Wizards have turned their season around over the last few weeks and their win over Chivas was another sign of how good this team has become.
9. Columbus Crew: The manner in which the Crew has folded in their last two games has to concerning Robert Warzycha.
10. Toronto FC: Dwayne DeRosario ensured his return to Houston was a winning one with two superb strikes that propelled Toronto to a rare away victory.
11. Chivas USA: Chivas' lack of real quality in the final third once again cost them as they fell to defeat against Kansas City at the HDC last Sunday.
12. Philadelphia Union: The Union’s poor away form has cost them the chance of a playoff berth in their first year in MLS.
13. Chicago Fire: Maybe now the Fire front office knows why Seattle was not that upset to lose Freddie Ljungberg.
14. New England Revolution: The Revs season of misery continued as they were hammered by the Rapids with former player Wells Thompson scoring to rub salt in Steve Nicol’s wounds.
15. D.C. United: D.C. played well in patches against the Galaxy but poor defensive errors cost them the chance of picking up a rare win.
16. Houston Dynamo: I wonder if Houston still thinks it was a good idea to let Dwayne DeRosario go to Toronto?
Keith Costigan is a writer for FoxSoccer.com covering Major League Soccer.