With the calendar about to flip to 2010, Jason Kreis is looking back on a great year with his Real Salt Lake side winning MLS Cup and it was on this day in soccer history in 1972 that the former player turned manager was born in Omaha, Nebraska.
After proving himself in high school soccer, Kreis played college soccer for Duke University before joining the Raleigh Flyers of the USISL after graduating. The Dallas Burn selected the forward with the 43rd pick in the inaugural MLS Draft in 1996.
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Kreis was an immediate factor in the Burn lineup scoring the team’s first goal and becoming the league’s first U.S. born player to be named league MVP after the 1999 season. He put in the league’s first 15 goal and 15 assist season.
Real Salt Lake picked up their future coach on November 17, 2004 when he became the expansions club’s first player. He repeated one of his Burn accomplishments by scoring the first goal for the Utah club as well.
Kreis was the first MLS player to reach the 100 goal plateau and ended his MLS career with 108 goals which included a three year stint as the league’s all-time leading goal scorer from 2004-2007.
After hanging up his boots, Kreis made the move to the sideline with Real. He helped the side to their first MLS playoff appearance in 2008 and then lead the club to the MLS Cup Championship in 2009.
And also on this day in soccer history in 2005, Claudio Reyna was ruled out of the Manchester City line-up due to a broken ankle.
1966 – Stefano Eranio, Italian footballer
1972 – Jason Kreis, American soccer player
1978 – Kieron Dyer, English footballer
1986 – Joe Anyon, English footballer
1989 – Nathan Forbes, British footballer
2007 – Phil O'Donnell, Scottish footballer (b. 1972)