Head Coach Jason Kreis Inks Two-Year Extension

RSL sideline boss to helm Claret-and-Cobalt through 2013 season


Cup-winning Manager in MLS History Secured through 2013 Season;

Former RSL
Captain, 1st-ever 100-Goal MLS Scorer to See His #9 Jersey Retired on July 4

SANDY, UT (Thursday, March 24, 2011) – Real
Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis has signed a two-year contract
, ensuring his presence on the RSL sidelines through the 2013
Major League Soccer season
, RSL President Bill Manning announced
today. Kreis became the youngest MLS Cup-winning coach in League history when
he led RSL to the title in 2009, his second full season at the competitive
helm. All-time, Kreis owns a 51-42-34 mark in MLS regular-season, playoff and
CONCACAF Champions League play. 

"As I’ve said many times in the nearly
seven years since he became the face of our franchise, Jason continues to fit
the profile of every great leader I have worked with throughout my career,”
said RSL Founder Dave Checketts. “The vote of confidence that ownership
and management give today to Jason speaks for itself. Not only is he one of the
best young coaches in MLS, he’s one of the best – period. We are thrilled to
have him here for a very long time.”

At a team function earlier today, Mr.
Checketts also announced that Real Salt Lake will retire Kreis’ #9
in a special ceremony this coming Independence Day, in
conjunction with that night’s game against the New England Revolution, to be
televised live nationwide on ESPN2. 

“It will be a great day on July 4, 2011, when
we officially recognize Jason for his contributions to RSL,” said Checketts.
“We understand that retiring a player’s number is not a normal part of soccer
protocol. While we have great respect for the game, we seek to honor an
exceptional player and coach for our organization. Jason was the first player
signed at Real Salt Lake, he established and broke significant MLS records
while wearing our uniform and has provided exceptional leadership both on and
off the field. In my mind, no one at RSL should ever wear #9 again.”

Kreis, an American soccer icon and Major
League Soccer pioneer, embarks on the 2011 MLS season with “unfinished
business” driving this year’s CONCACAF Champions League and Major League Soccer
ambitions. Last year’s squad dropped just four games across the last seven
months of play in all competitions, yet were sent home unceremoniously in the
first round of the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs by finalist FC Dallas.

“When I was hired nearly four years ago, I
stated that it was time for action, that I was embracing a complete and utter
challenge, undertaking tremendous responsibility,” said Kreis. “We have enjoyed
some success here now at Real Salt Lake and the entire organization – players,
coaches, staff, ownership, management and most importantly, the fans –
believes, as I do, that ‘The Team is the Star.’ Everyone involved in
establishing and raising our expectations continues to work towards earning
championships, and no one takes that responsibility lightly.  I am
thrilled to have the opportunity to continue in this great endeavor.”

While RSL did not repeat in 2010 – something
that has happened just twice in the first 15 years of MLS – Kreis’
organization, leadership, drive and determination inspired Real Salt Lake
(15-4-11, 56 points, Supporters’ Shield runners-up) to a nearly unprecedented
run, amassing 64 points in 30 games combined – the equivalent of an MLS season
– from May 1 to Oct. 19 in both MLS and CCL play, a points haul equal to the
3rd-best run EVER by an MLS team
(Los Angeles – 70 pts –
Sept. 7, 1997 to Aug. 8, 1998; Los Angeles – 66 pts – June 28, 2009 to June 26,

“It is imperative that the competitive side
of our organization maintain continuity and build off the success of recent
seasons,” said Manning, working closely with Kreis and General Manger Garth
Lagerwey as the trio prepare for Saturday’s 2011 MLS home opener against Los
in a rematch of MLS Cup 2009. “The dedication, work ethic and
commitment to excel on the team side have been exemplary under Jason’s
direction, and I felt it was important to secure the future of our coaching
staff before going long into the last year of his current deal. We could not be
more pleased as an organization that Jason will continue to guide our team on
the field."

Kreis led the 2010 RSL side to become the
first-ever MLS team (and one of just three non-Mexican teams) to win a CONCACAF
group, posting a 4-1-1 mark and advancing now to the Semifinal Round in 2011,
where RSL takes a 2-0 lead into the second leg at Costa Rican club Deportivo
Saprissa on Tuesday, April 5. The former striker’s side was also the
second-highest-scoring team in CONCACAF’s group stage, with 17 goals in six
games (2.83 goals/game). During MLS play in 2010, the following numbers
established by RSL set or tied new single-season league standards: fewest goals
allowed (20), overall goal differential (+25), total home points (37), fewest
home losses (0) and fewest home goals allowed (7). In addition to those league
benchmarks, last year’s edition set franchise-high records in wins (15), goals
(45), scoring output (1.50/game), points (56), shutouts (15), road points (19)
and road goal differential (+1).

In 2009, RSL finished the regular season with
an 11-12-5 mark, earning the final MLS Cup Playoff spot on the last day of the
season with a complete and dominating 3-0 win over rival Colorado. Just as in
the year before, RSL played its best when the pressure was highest, reeling off
four consecutive postseason results to bring the State of Utah its first major league
professional title in nearly 40 years – and allowing Kreis to become the
youngest Championship-winning manager in MLS’ first 15 years after RSL’s
dramatic penalty-kick win over a star-studded Los Angeles team in MLS Cup 2009.

Kreis became the second head coach in Real
Salt Lake history on May 3, 2007, when Checketts tabbed the team’s Captain, its
first-ever player and (at the time) the League’s all-time leading scorer to
seize the reins of Utah’s Division I professional soccer team. The Duke University
product was the eleventh ex-MLS player (not including interim stints) to take
over a League side, and is currently one of eight head coaches in the League to
make the switch from an MLS pitch to the sideline.

Intense and passionate, Kreis went 6-13-7 (25
points) during the partial 2007 season, enduring an expectedly steep learning
curve before steadying his squad to a 4-4-3 finish down the stretch, a sign of
things to come. In his first full season at the helm in 2008, Kreis led Real
Salt Lake to its first-ever playoff berth on the heels of a 10-10-10 (40
points) regular season, a turnaround for which Kreis was rewarded with a
previous contract extension that kept him on the Rio Tinto Stadium sideline
through the 2011 MLS season.

The 2008 campaign reflected the results of an
extensive team overhaul, which saw the team mold 21 new faces – added since the
final half of the 2007 season – into a competitive unit. The landmark 2008
season under Kreis’ direction saw Real Salt Lake open the state-of-the-art Rio
Tinto Stadium, dramatically qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in the final
minute of the year and defeat the higher-seeded Chivas USA in the West
Semifinals before ultimately bowing to the New York Red Bulls one step shy of
MLS Cup, all resulting in the most successful and competitive campaign in Real
Salt Lake’s four-season history both on and off the field, prior to the Cup win
one year later.

At the time of his hire, Mr. Kreis became the
youngest active head coach in MLS at 34 years and 127 days of age. Kreis works
closely with his former Blue Devil and Dallas Burn teammate Lagerwey regarding
player acquisitions, scouting, MLS drafts and all player personnel-related
matters. The Kreis-Lagerwey partnership has resulted in the implementation of a
culture where players, staff and fans work as one for the RSL shield,
epitomizing a “Team is the Star” attitude. Kreis, Lagerwey and the team’s
coaching staff – Jeff Cassar, Miles Joseph and C.J. Brown – compose the lone
technical staff among MLS’ 16 teams comprised entirely of ex-MLS players. This
distinction means that the RSL braintrust now boasts cumulative MLS experience
of 71,242 total minutes, covering 902 games and including 126 goals and 22
shutouts (the equivalent of nearly 30 complete seasons of service). The RSL
staff has the unparalleled ability to tap into personal experience as it
guides, assists and develops current RSL players.

Kreis abruptly retired with 108 career goals
to his credit, becoming just the eighth person in the history of the five major
U.S. sports leagues to serve as a head coach while holding his league’s career
scoring record (and only the third athlete in the post-World War II era). The
first MLS player to break the century mark in goals scored, Mr. Kreis’ 108
total goals scored still ranks fourth behind Jaime Moreno (131), Jeff
Cunningham (130) and Ante Razov (114) heading into the 2011 season.

The native of Omaha, Neb., was the first
American-born player in MLS history to earn MVP honors (Kreis remains one of
just three U.S.-born MVPs in 14 MLS seasons), capturing the 1999 award after
leading the Dallas Burn in goals (18) and assists (15), a stellar campaign
which marked the first “15-15” season in League annals. Coming through in the
clutch is a Kreis trademark, with an astounding 31 of his 108 career goals
game-winners. The Duke graduate ranks among the top 10 MLS career leaders in
games (305 – 10th), starts (282), minutes (25,242 – 7th),
shots (818 – 2nd) and shots on goal (370).

Kreis became the first player in Real Salt
Lake history on November 17, 2004, when the 12-year MLS veteran was acquired
from FC Dallas in exchange for future considerations. He has the unique
distinction of scoring the first-ever goals in two MLS team histories, finding
the back of the net for both RSL and the Dallas Burn. Interestingly, career
strikes #1 and #100 shared a common opponent – the Kansas City Wizards, also
the victim of Kreis’ lone career MLS hat trick. Until the heroics of former RSL
striker Robbie Findley in the 2008 home opener, Kreis was the lone RSL player
ever to notch three goals in one game, albeit in a 4-6 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
loss at Minnesota in 2005.

Kreis, an avid woodworker, oenophile and
golfer with a voracious appetite for reading, resides in Park City, Utah, with
his wife, Kimberly, and two sons.

www.RealSaltLake.com / www.RioTintoStadium.com / www.ESPN700Sports.com