Orlando City has hired Jason Kreis as its new head coach, ending a tumultuous few weeks since suddenly firing longtime coach Adrian Heath.
“We are very excited that we have got our man. Jason is a progressive thinking and highly ambitious coach, who is very familiar with success in MLS,” Orlando City SC President and Founder Phil Rawlins said in a team press release. “Jason’s playing philosophy is the same attack-minded, possession-oriented style of soccer that we have built our Club around. He is a winner who checks all the boxes for us.”
Undoubtedly Kreis ticked off many of the boxes Orlando City was looking for. Heath had an attacking style and connected well with fans, but he lacked experience coaching at the MLS level. That was certainly hinted at when the team let Heath go. And for a team still with Playoff expectations they got a coach with plenty of MLS success and experience.
Kreis was the head coach for Real Salt Lake when they won the MLS Cup in 2009. He had five straight playoff appearances with Real Salt Lake before leaving to be the coach of the expansion New York City FC franchise last year. He was dismissed midway through the season as that organization’s own outsized expectations were not met.
Orlando City had a bit more of a building plan than New York City did, but are certainly focused on making the Playoffs this year and speeding up some of its own development.
Kreis is certainly capable of molding the team and leading the team to the Playoffs. He has done it plenty of times as a coach and done it several times as a player in the MLS.
Stability has returned to Orlando City now, it would seem. The Lions will be able to move forward with a new coach. There will surely be hiccups still. Orlando City will have to understand a new voice and a new mentality. The old coaching staff will reportedly stay on to help with the transition as they take over Monday.
What the rest of the future holds for Orlando City is still very unclear. A new coach always brings some uncertainty. Orlando City had dealt with plenty of that of late.
Now they have to find a way to pick up some wins on top of all that.
Former Solar Bears executive named interim president of Central Florida Sports Commission
Former Orlando Solar Bears president Jason Siegel has been named the interim president and CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission, Richard Bilbao of Orlando Business Journal writes.
The Central Florida Sports Commission oversees and promotes sports throughout Central Florida. It is an essential body to the bidding and presentation of sporting events throughout Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola Counties among many others.
“As a sports community, we have a tremendous opportunity to build on the successes we have enjoyed in the past,” Siegel said in a statement. “We will immediately begin to meet with local government officials, corporate, community and sports franchise leaders, and influencers on a regional and national level as we strategically plan for the future.”
Siegel helped run the Solar Bears through their first four years since coming out of hibernation in the ECHL. The team had experienced some great marketing success in that time. Siegel is a very capable and strong leader to promote sports in Central Florida for however long it is required of him.
Big 12 opening door for expansion again
The Big 12 is meeting for its annual football media days and expansion appears to have opened once again.
Big 12 Board of Directors chairman David Boren told Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports it is more likely than not the Big 12 will expand. This opens the door again for the will-they, won’t-they rumors to begin, including rumors regarding expansion to Florida including UCF.
The Knights have long and already made their argument to move up a conference. They continue to put themselves in a position with their program building and their location to be the next place for major-conference expansion.
The Knights are reportedly one of the schools being considered for expansion.
Of course, they have heard that before. There is no timetable for expansion to occur. Once again UCF will be waiting.