NEW YORK — Jason Kreis is not one for moral victories. However, despite a season full of challenges and recent rumors regarding his job status, he has managed to find something to hang his hat on this season.
“I look at (this season) in a positive way,” the New York City FC coach said Friday at the club’s open training session at Yankee Stadium. “I already look at it in a positive way because we have 10 wins.
“And without this last win that I’m hopeful for on Sunday (against New England Revolution), even without that, we are the the fourth-best expansion record of all-time, in the modern era, in the 2000s. And we are the best expansion record ever with a team that didn’t have a team there already for five years or prior. All of the teams that will finish above us, Orlando City, Seattle, Montreal, and I think Portland all had teams in existence for five years or more before they started their first MLS campaign. So I think we have a lot to be proud of.”
NYCFC had been on the outside looking in for an Eastern Conference playoff berth for most of the season, and the window finally closed for the club two weeks ago when it was mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.
With 37 points on a 10-16-7 record so far, NYCFC sure left much to be desired for this season, especially considering the names on its roster. However, Kreis said there is something about the records that doesn’t tell the whole story about his team this season.
“I think, as a coach, if you go game-by-game, I think there were opportunities for us to pick up more points almost in every single game,” Kreis said. “I think it’s another area, as a team, we can be proud of. There was only one game this year where we didn’t have a chance to win, or to get a draw. There was only one game this year where we were blown out, it was at LA. And I don’t think that every MLS team could hold their hand up and say that they did that over an entire season.
“I’ve been around enough MLS teams to know that that usually happens in more than one game a season, for whatever reason. So we can be proud that our team battled and fought and gave themselves an opportunity to pick up a point or three points in every single match we’ve played, apart from one.”
That was indeed the case, as NYCFC had not lost a game by more than two goals all season, save the Galaxy game. But the pressure of succeeding — albeit coming from an unlikely source at times, is nevertheless still something Kreis has to cope with.
“I’m the type of guy that puts more pressure on myself than any of you could hope to,” Kreis told the media. “I have higher expectations of myself than any of you could hope to have, so I think the pressure comes from within for me and stuff that comes from the outside is just that, it’s on the outside always, and I have to deal with my own pressures.”
Recent rumors suggested Kreis’ time with NYCFC may be cut short. While he fully acknowledge the gossips, Kreis understands it is something out of his control.
“It’s difficult, it’s not fun to be in this position to have things like this being thrown around about you,” Kreis said. “But I know it is part of the job. It is certainly a part of the job when you’re working for a club like City Football Group, and New York City (FC) and a city like New York.
“I understand the pressures of coaching. I understand that full well. I understand that if you don’t do good enough job, you don’t make the playoffs, you don’t win enough, you’re going to be under pressure and there’s going to be speculations. It’s part and parcel of the job and I get it.”
If Kreis could have a say on his own future, he would surely prefer to extend his stay a bit longer.
“I think I’ve been more than clear in my intent in coming here. You don’t leave a job like I was in, in a club that I was in, to take an opportunity somewhere and only want to do it one year,” Kreis said. “For me, this project is about a-third of the way complete. It takes time to build a successful team, a successful club in this league. It takes more time than one year.”