FCdallas.net: What was the thinking from the team behind making this trade?
Greg Elliott: "We sat down with Jason, like we do with all our players following the season, and discussed our expectations for 2005. We had a very healthy discussion and Jason again expressed his belief that he is a starter in this league. We've been on the record saying that we planned to get a strike partner for Eddie and give us more production than we got out of that position last season. Jason felt like he was that guy, but during the course of our discussions Jason and his representatives were exploring options they may have. When Salt Lake came to us and informed us that they were prepared to make a move on Jason and guarantee him the minutes and the compensation that he felt like he deserved, it was a relatively simple decision to accommodate that request for him."
FCdallas.net: Was this a difficult decision for you and your staff personally to make?
Elliott: "Yeah, I think whenever you trade an icon it's not something you take lightly. The difficulty came in knowing that Jason wasn't going to be in our colors in the new stadium next year, which is something that he has clearly earned the right to do. With that stated, Jason and his representatives felt that his career pursuits would be better served elsewhere. When I say it was a simple decision, I'm speaking on the opportunity that Jason has earned the right to chart his own future."
FCdallas.net: What did Jason Kreis bring to this organization over the past nine years?
Elliott: "I've said in the past that if there was a Dallas Burn entry in the Olympics, Jason would be the flag-bearer. He's been the organization's public face, a major part of our spirit and core, and is someone who brought a consistency of character and ability to every match he played. Jason was the model of professionalism to this club."
FCdallas.net: Do you plan on honoring Kreis when he returns to Dallas next season as a visiting player?
Elliott: "We've had some internal discussions about this already and certainly we will do something that is above and beyond the ordinary. The exact scope of what we are going to do will unfold over the next several months, but I'm sure when he comes back in there will be some special recognition that Jason certainly deserves."
FCdallas.net: Does FC Dallas now look for other players to step up as the team moves into a new stadium and a new identity?
Elliott: "Part of the interesting dynamic now is that there are players who may be ready to step forward and take on more of a leadership role on this team. The leadership mantle for this team is now wide open and I don't expect one player to seize it, but I do expect several of our core guys to step up and become a bit more vocal or a bit more direct in their leadership capabilities. Jason's leadership was a tremendous part of what he brought to the table, and I'm not sure one guy will step up and fill that. When a veteran player like Jason departs, I think you may see some of our young guys be more aggressive about pursing a leadership role next season."