PURCHASE, N.Y. – For Patrick Vieira, it’s always business, never personal.
Still, the New York City FC head coach bristled at the comments his Orlando City SC counterpart Jason Kreis made following NYCFC’s 3-0 victory in Orlando on Sunday night.
“I’m not going to accept the personal attack because I believe the way that he talks I think it was a little bit of anger and a personal attack,” Vieira said following training on Thursday. “This is something I will not accept.”
The soap opera began when Kreis took exception to Vieira’s assertion that NYCFC “were the better team” in Orlando City’s two victories over their Eastern Conference foes this season. Vieira doubled down on that sentiment in Sunday night’s postgame news conference. But Kreis didn't see it the same way.
“I’m not quite sure if you looked at the possession statistics that they controlled the game,” Kreis countered after the match. “I think it was darn near 50-50. In my opinion, I think that we as coaches need to do a better job in respecting our opponents after performances.”
While Kreis prefaced his comments by stating that he wasn’t going to say anything “crass and disrespectful” about NYCFC, Vieira believes the former NYCFC coach did just that in his comments.
“I will accept everyone’s opinion because I say what I think and people can agree or disagree, but I stay on the field and give an opinion on the game,” Vieira said. “I think he should do the same and try to control himself a little bit more.”
Vieira said the two coaches were amicable in the past – despite Vieira's replacing Kreis as NYCFC's boss following their inaugural MLS season in 2015 – and even in pregame warmups on Sunday.
“We said hello, talked about the previous game, the next game, about how his team is going,” Vieira said. “I have respect for every single coach in the league. Of course, sometimes we can disagree on the way we see the game, but the personal attack is not something I will accept. It’s disappointing, but that’s the way it is.”
While it appears the rivalry is brewing between the two teams, Vieira said his opinion of Kreis hasn't changed after last weekend's developments.
“I had respect for him before and I will respect him again after,” Vieira said. “The respect of him is not going to change. Of course, I didn’t like the way that he talked about me not having respect and this is something I don’t accept.”