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Kreis already has flown to England to meet with Manchester City FC and New York City FC officials.
Remember, all this could have been avoided.
But now Kreis is listening.
He’s an ambitious man who’s always had big dreams and felt a little disrespected, going back to his playing days when as a junior forward he was left uninvited to national teams. Even while he was becoming MLS’ erstwhile all-time leading goal scorer, Kreis never made the U.S. national team’s roster, again feeling snubbed, never having the chance to play in a World Cup.
In 2006, he told me: "It’s the biggest disappointment of my career. Playing in the World Cup is the penultimate goal — to play there and represent your country. … I honestly feel I was never given the right number of opportunities. There was a time when I was very bitter about it. I was frustrated. Now it’s a disappointment, but I leave it alone."
The higher Kreis’ profile grows nationally, or internationally, the better his chances become of doing something those close to him say he would love to do: coach the USMNT, coach it at the World Cup that he missed as a player.
If NYCFC makes him a big offer, Kreis then must wrestle through his own priorities. It’s not a tomahawk dunk, in either direction. He met with Hansen last week and will meet with him again this week to continue their discussions. RSL is conjuring an offer that would make Kreis the second-highest paid coach in MLS. Arena makes around $1 million a year with the Galaxy. Seattle’s Sigi Schmid makes around $700,000. Kreis’ offer from RSL likely will be somewhere between the two.
On the one hand, Kreis seems genuinely connected to RSL. He was signed as the team’s first-ever player in 2005. He has led and lifted the club to new heights, establishing it as a model for other MLS teams to follow. He has power and control with Real that he never would have in New York. He’s presently re-modeling an 8,000-square-foot home in Park City, and one of his kids is about to enter high school there. He’s grown to love his life in Utah.
On the other, ambition and opportunity are batting their eyes at him, puckering their lips, standing in silhouette in a backlit doorway, turning an ankle and whispering his name.
Nobody knows what Kreis will do.
Here’s what everybody does know: Had RSL made him a decent offer before the season started, he already would be theirs.
GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.
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