Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jason Kreis' Open Letter

Jason Kries sent an ‘open letter’ to RSL fans and the Utah soccer community. As a member of both groups, I thought I’d post my initial thoughts in response.

First of all, this is more response (and recognition of just how bad things are) than I ever saw in the John Ellinger era at RSL. On the other hand this open letter is just an IOU until it’s backed up on the playing field.

Belief. Passion. Desire. Determination. Commitment. Sacrifice.

These are the core values inside the Real Salt Lake locker room, the values upon which team success is built and those we demand from every individual that walks through those doors. Nothing but the utmost adherence to these tenets is tolerated.

With the possible exception of the game against DC United, these values haven’t been displayed by the eleven players on the pitch for a full game so far this season. There’s a perception in the online fanbase that it’s better to be an ‘Kreis insider’ than to play hard. Kreis and the team are going to have to work hard to overcome that bias.

Our fans are the best in MLS, and have been since day one. That our fans share the same values — Belief, Passion, Desire, Determination, Commitment and Sacrifice — motivates every player, coach, and administrator in the RSL organization to forge ahead and redouble efforts to emerge from this rut.

I’m glad coaches and administrators were included in this. The front office is taking a lot of heat right now for their apparent bungling of PR, the stadium, personnel moves, etc. While several players have been traded/let go for not living up to these values, there hasn’t been a lot of accountability for the front office staff. These aren’t changes that Kreis can make, they are changes that the team needs to make.

As I said upon my introduction as Head Coach of RSL, “Fortune Favors the Bold.” I believe this in my heart of hearts, and the bold changes we are currently implementing in our team and in our coaching staff will bring imminent fortune.

Imminent, ‘ready to take place’, doesn’t really seem to describe a change in RSL’s fortune. I may be wrong, but to my eye’s it looks like there’s a long, hard way to go before before RSL is a good team. Perhaps a better catchphrase for the RSL players, coaches, and staff to consider is “less talk, more action”.

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