The Other Thing: Kreis Retires

Maybe this only happened to me, but the one thing I somewhat missed in the whole "John-Ellinger-resigns" freakout (which, as I see it, neither Salt Lake City paper I frequent has handled this all that well: the Deseret News only mentions Kreis' hiring, while the Salt Lake Tribune is, at time of writing, silent):

Jason Kreis retired.

Setting aside, for a moment, Kreis' coaching resume and qualifications (do they even exist?), Kreis was not only a starting player for his club, but he remains the all-time leading scorer in league history. That bears repeating: Major League Soccer's all-time leading scorer just retired. In the blinking of an eye, it's over. No "Cobi Jones Year of Celebration and Magic." It's just...finito.

We're talking about a guy whose playing years go back far enough that he was featured in a (I believe) Year Two advertising spot in which he battled a tank (a clip that, sadly, predates Youtube). He was the face of two franchises: the Dallas Burn (a time I'm happily reliving with an old edition of FIFA; he's my leading scorer) and Real Salt Lake. And who could forget that fantastic two-footed tackle he laid on some poor schlub in a U.S. Men's friendly mere seconds after coming on? Yeah, I don't remember the year, the opposition - none of that - but, that tackle? Burned in my memory and, yes, it still makes me laugh.

Obviously, I've always liked Kreis. He had a cannon of a shot and he simply carried himself as a "pro's pro." That's worth remembering before he embarks on what will in all likelihood be a wrenchingly painful coaching tenure with a seriously screwed up franchise (though as I said earlier, they're really, really interesting to watch). It will be a bit of shame if a bad run as a coach tarnishes what Kreis accomplished as one of MLS's all-time greats.


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