Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen says the club has made a lucrative offer to keep Jason Kreis in Salt Lake City beyond 2013, but it will come to the head coach’s ambitions if wants to stay or go.
Appearing on MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio podcast on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s MLS Cup between Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City, Hansen (above, left) said he’s hopeful that Kreis will spurn a reported contract offer from 2015 expansion side New York City FC and return to RSL next season.
“He would be a credit in the league to any team that could get him, and we’ve obviously put a very, very big number out in front of him …” Hansen said. “We’re crossing our fingers that we’re the prettiest girl in the red sports car when Jason gets to that point of what it’s important to him in his life and career.”
Kreis – who Hansen cited as a man with “big mountains to climb” in his career – has largely deflected all questions about his future with RSL or a possible shift to New York City FC after the year, his sixth full season in charge of the club.
SI.com reported earlier this week that Kreis is “almost 100 percent” certain to leave for New York City FC ahead of their debut season in 2015, but he insisted that he will not comment about his job status until after MLS Cup is completed.
Kreis was first linked to the NYCFC job in September, when SI.com reported he visited the UK in order to meet with NYCFC and Manchester City leadership.
Hansen confirmed that Kreis made the trip, but insisted that he approached RSL leadership before ever boarding a plane.
“He said, ‘I don’t think anyone will know about it,’” Hansen recalled. “I said, ‘Jason, I’m happy to do that, but everyone will know about it. You’re a bigger presence than you give yourself credit for.’”
Hansen asserted that if the two sides part ways after MLS Cup on Saturday, he expects the split will be amicable.
“It’s not about a falling out, a lack of resources or any actions between us,” Hansen said. “It’s about, is this is the opportunity that he thinks is the best for himself.”
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Hansen said that although the club leadership initially wanted to speak with Kreis about a new contract following the team’s appearance in the US Open Cup final on Oct. 1, but RSL’s shocking loss to D.C. United proved too emotional to take in the days following.
Instead they scheduled further conversations for the end of the season, which will arrive on Saturday in the league title game.
“Obviously when it’s over, we’ll be taking pizza to his house,” Hansen said.
Check out the full interview with Hansen below, beginning at 15:28.