Jason Kreis has been largely silent on his exit from New York City FC since the two parted ways after just one season. That is no longer the case. The new Orlando City manager was asked about NYCFC’s decision to fire him on the Over The Ball podcast and he did not hold back, saying that the club was "unfair and downright irrational."
"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, 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."
Kreis was hired as NYCFC manager in December of 2013, 16 months before the club’s first ever match. He spent five months of that time in Manchester, learning alongside the Man City manager, and it appeared as if everyone at NYCFC recognized that they had a long build. From the roster itself, to the infrastructure, NYCFC was always going to be a project because they were starting from scratch.
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As NYCFC struggled through their inaugural season, going 10-17-7 and finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference, most chalked it up to the regular growing pains of an expansion team. But the club obviously did not think that Kreis was doing enough to get the team on track and fired him.
Kreis, unsurprisingly, was upset.
"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."
"I felt that we were on our way to building something that could be successful over a long time but we weren’t afforded the opportunity to finish the job."
Kreis was replaced by Patrick Vieira, who has NYCFC atop the Eastern Conference right now, so the club is probably pretty happy with how things have gone, at least in the short-term. As for the long-term, when (if?) the facilities get built, we’ll see how they look once they have to start using their academy and reserve team, and all the other things that come with building a sustainable club.
In the meantime, Kreis has made his feelings clear, and soon he’ll get to try to beat NYCFC on the field with his new Orlando City side.