Jason Kreis’ Manchester excursion shows NYCFC is already in motion

New York City FC head coach Jason Kreis is spending the next few months in Manchester to prepare NYCFC for 2015.

Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sport/USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC isn’t slated to join MLS until next year, but the club isn’t wasting any time laying the foundation for its debut.

NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis is currently in the middle of a six-month excursion to Manchester soak up everything City has to offer before returning to the United States. The decision to bring Kreis over to the United Kingdom allows City to establish a coherent philosophy with its partner club in New York and permits Kreis – in his words – to be a little bit of a pest to pick up anything and everything he can use when he returns to MLS.

The prospect of giving Kreis extra time to do anything should strike fear into the rest of MLS. Kreis’ seven-year spell with Real Salt Lake established his credentials as a first-rate team builder. The latitude to construct NYCFC from scratch offers him a chance to stamp his mark on a team that will reflect both his philosophy and the overarching goals in Manchester.

Kreis sat down with Manchester City’s official website this week to discuss the early stages of his journey. The entire video is linked at the bottom, but here are a few highlights worth digesting immediately.

Kreis expects NYCFC to contemplate a signing or two during the summer transfer window, but he noted the club won’t rush into any decisions. 

● Kreis said NYCFC can take four players on loan from City when it starts play in 2015. He noted he has already spent time scouting developing players – both in the youth team setup and out on loan with other clubs – for potential additions.

● On the timeline for signing players: “Well, I think it’s a situation where I wouldn’t want to put an expectation on it. I think in our eyes, the ideal situation would be to make one or two signings during the summer, the summer transfer window. But if it’s not the right player and not the right situations, we don’t have a rush. We don’t need to have a team available, a team together really until mid-January 2015. We certainly aren’t going to rush into anything. We aren’t living by any deadlines or timelines. We will never be rushed into a decision.”

● On the idea behind New York City FC: “I think that we’re very hopeful that we can fulfill a niche that hasn’t been filled before. We believe we can be a club that represents the city itself. Up until now, obviously, the Red Bulls have been there. There were the Metrostars before that. But they always played in New Jersey. So we want to be a team that can represent the city itself, the five boroughs, and play in the city and really try to attract a lot of fans that probably aren’t MLS fans at the moment and haven’t felt like they’ve had a home team to root for. That’s our ambition, to play in the city and represent the city very well.”

● On the prospect of a rivalry with the Red Bulls: “Yeah, it’s hard for me to imagine a scenario where it wouldn’t. But, for me, it’s something that I don’t think it’s something we need to talk about and build up. I think it’ll happen or it won’t. Obviously, the proximity of the two clubs means the stadiums should be full for every game. I think you start with that, you start with an atmosphere. And then the hope is that we can be competitive enough to have challenging games all of the time. And then once you play those games, it leads to important games, playoff-clinching games, games to win things. That’s what builds rivalries. It isn’t the talk off the field.”

● On whether the City philosophy will transfer to MLS: “Oh, absolutely, absolutely. It’s no different than what I tried to instill with Real Salt Lake in the last seven years. It’s interesting for me because it’s a little bit rewarding to say to myself, well, these are a lot of the same things I’ve been doing. I certainly know it’s possible and you can have success in our league doing it.”