Patrick Vieira and Fabio Capello early frontrunners to replace Jason Kreis at NYCFC

New York City FC have made their first major decision following the end of their inaugural season in Major League Soccer by “parting ways” with head coach Jason Kreis.

A statement released on the club’s official website last night said: “New York City Football Club can confirm that they have parted company with Head Coach Jason Kreis.

“The announcement comes following a review conducted at the end of a disappointing campaign.

“Prior to the start of the season, it was agreed with the coaching team that the securing of a playoff place was an appropriate target for this year.

“A win rate of less than one in three games and a points tally which was the second lowest in the league is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed.”

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The decision means NYCFC will need to look for a new man to lead the club in what will be their second season following an expansion campaign that failed to meet expectations.

Manchester City’s position as one of world football’s leading sides means that City Football Group could use the MLS team’s parent club to hire a new coach.

Patrick Vieira is has been strongly linked with the job after coaching Manchester City’s youth, reserve and development squads over the past four years.

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The Frenchman was interviewed for the Newcastle job in the summer but ultimately walked away from any offer. He is believed to be keen on coaching in the Premier League but could be swayed by the challenge of getting NYCFC’s group of stars to click.

Another big name being linked with the Eastern Conference side is former England manager Fabio Capello. The Italian tactician has been out of work since leaving his post as Russia manager in July and hasn’t managed at club level since leaving Real Madrid in 2007.

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NYCFC are believed to have already opened talks with Capello and the Italian is certainly not afraid of managing big-name stars – something NYCFC bosses could see as the primary trait any new coach must possess.

The club are unlikely to rush into a decision, though yesterday’s statement said that any new coach needs to be in place by the time preseason rolls around in January.

“The Club is committed to ensuring that a suitable candidate is in place in good time to prepare for the 2016 season and an announcement will be made when a candidate is confirmed.”

Do you think Jason Kreis deserved to be sacked? Who should NYCFC look to replace him with?

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Jason Kreis focusing on NYCFC ahead of Real Salt Lake return

By Keave Tollington: Twitter – @KeaveT

New York City FC will travel to Utah this weekend to play head coach Jason Kreis’ former side, Real Salt Lake. The travelling NYCFC squad include former RSL veterans Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert with Sebastian Velasquez, Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Josh Saunders all playing under Kreis at Real Salt Lake.

Grabavoy played 159 matches for RSL, scoring 10 goals, while defender Chris Wingert recorded 204 appearances. The pair helped RSL win the 2009 MLS Cup and reach the finals in the 2013 season, as well as enjoying time in the 2012 CONCACAF Champions League and 2013 U.S. Open Cup.

Chris Wingert paid tribute to his eight seasons at RSL this week in an interview with RSL’s weekly radio show: “I felt appreciated by the club and really thankful that they kept me around for that long. It will always be a really special place for me. In a perfect world I will always keep a home there.”

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Despite spending nine successful years in Utah as both a player and head coach Kreis told the Salt Lake Tribune that he will not be focusing on his RSL history this weekend: “I don’t think that there is a whole lot of pride in it yet, because I’m still very busy trying to take the next step [at NYCFC].”

Both sides will be wanting to put history aside during the game as NYCFC desperately try to find their second MLS win and put an end to a poor run of form, while RSL will look to bounce back from their humiliating 4-1 defeat to Montreal last Saturday.

With both teams eager for three points it is hard to see this tie ending in a goalless draw.

Real Salt Lake vs. NYCFC kicks off at 03:00AM (UK Time) on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Will Jason Kreis’ history at RSL help NYCFC get their second win in MLS?

How will Sebastian Velasquez fit in at New York City?

New York City have acquired the services of Colombian midfielder Sebastian Velasquez from Real Salt Lake and he will now be reunited with former manager Jason Kreis.

Kreis left Real Salt Lake at the end of the 2013 campaign but has taken on the role of manager at New York City ahead of their first season.

Velasquez has been used sporadically at Real Salt Lake since his maiden season as a rookie in 2012, so it’s not a major surprise that he’s now moved on.

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However, the 23-year-old saw most of his game time when Kreis was at the club in 2013, so it would appear that the boss is a fan of the young midfielder. He made 24 appearances under Kreis compared to just 10 appearances in 2014.

It’s been a bit of a waiting game for Velasquez, but what better way to start fresh than with a move to a brand new club where he will be hoping to fully prove himself and gain regular first-team action.

Velasquez stats

The Colombian possesses natural ability, great technical skill and can be used as a striker, but more commonly he’s deployed as a winger.

The move to New York presents a great opportunity for Velasquez to cement his place as a first-team player as competition for places will be sky-high and nothing will be guaranteed for anyone in the first few months as they try to work out their best starting XI.

Will Sebastian Velasquez be a success at New York City?

Robbie Keane: The goal machine

The playoffs are now fast approaching and other than their defeat last weekend, LA Galaxy have been in a superb run of form going in to it, so they will be full of confidence.

They have lost just 3 of their last 24 games and went on a 10-game unbeaten run from 29th July to 5th October.

LA Galaxy’s last 24 games: Played 24 – Won 15 – Drawn 6 – Lost 3

Much of the attention for their achievements so far this season have focused on club legend, Landon Donovan, and rightly so.

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But with all eyes on Donovan, it’s allowed forward, Robbie Keane, to go about his business quietly but extremely efficiently.

He is the Galaxy’s top goalscorer with 19 and is the third highest across the entire MLS this season, behind only Red Bulls record-chaser Bradley Wright-Phillips (25 goals) and Dom Dwyer (21 goals) of Sporting Kansas City.

The Irishman has contributed an almost record-breaking 33 goals this season (19 scored – 14 assisted).

The record for most goals contributed in one MLS season is currently held by Chris Wondolowski when he notched 27 goals and 7 assists for San Jose Earthquakes in 2012, making it 34 in total.

Other notable efforts were that of Jason Kreis – he contributed 33 goals (18 scored – 15 assisted) for FC Dallas in 1999.

Cobi Jones, also of LA Galaxy, contributed 32 goals (19 scored – 13 assisted) in the 1998 season.

Most goals contributed in an MLS season

  • 34 – Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – 2012
  • 33 Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) 2014
  • 33 – Jason Kreis (FC Dallas) – 1999
  • 32 – Cobi Jones (LA Galaxy) – 1998
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It all means that if Robbie Keane can either assist or score one more goal in his last two games, he will equal the record for most goals contributed in any MLS season – two more goals would see him set the record.

It comes as no coincidence as his maiden voyage in Major League Soccer saw him play a hand in 25 goals when he scored 16 and set-up 9 in the 2012 season.

The 2013 season saw him involved in 27 goals with 16 scored and 11 assisted, so he has been very consistent for three years running now and it certainly deserves a mention.

Will Robbie Keane set the record for most goals contributed in an MLS season?