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Jason Kreis

By Daniel Jones

Major League Soccer's second all-time leading goal scorer and now coach of Real Salt Lake, Jason Kreis started his career with much less fanfare fifteen years ago.

Prior to the start of MLS, the Duke graduate played with the now-defunct Raleigh Flyers of the USISL and was drafted 43rd overall by the Dallas Burn (now F.C. Dallas) in the fifth round of the MLS Inaugural Draft.

Kreis took his chances and in 1996 scored the first goal in Burn history. In 1999, he was the first American-born player to be named league MVP after he led the league in points and goals, and also registered the first 15-goal, 15-assist season in league history. In 2005 he became the first player in MLS history to score 100 career league goals.

Last year Kreis was named head coach of Real Salt Lake, retiring as a player and taking over the coaching reins from John Ellinger.

How did you get your start in coaching? I basically organized a few licensed clinics in Dallas.


"We've already turned the corner here."

From there you just become a student of the game. I try to do as much reading as I can. Its a lifelong process. For me it was pretty clear. I wanted to be a head coach in this league. A lot of times I thought how I would do things. I never had a real job in my life. I thought that I could forego another season and hop in.

Tell me about some of the challenges in your first season. As a coach I make decisions about players that changed their lives. Players were cut, traded, or signed. These can be very emotionally difficult decisions. There are quite a few coaches that have helped me. John Kerr, Jerry Williamson. Ive spent some time with some coaches on the phone when I started. I realize that Im brand new and there is a lot to learn. Frank Yallop and Dominic Kinnear have been fantastic coaches. They really get it.

Your best career moment so far? The best moment was scoring the first goal in Dallas Burn history. It meant so much to the team and to the fans. Being a part of something like that was very special.

The team missed the playoffs this year. What can fans expect out of next year? What they can expect from me is that were going to do our best. Weve already turned the corner here.



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