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Jason Kreis hired as USMNT U-23 Coach

He’ll try to guide the U.S. men to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

New York City FC v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

U.S. Soccer has hired Jason Kreis as the head coach of the U-23 United States Men’s National Team.

Kreis’ first match in charge of the team is a March 22nd friendly against Egypt. The team will then face the Netherlands on March 24th.

Kreis will guide the U-23 USMNT through the 2019 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship (which takes place in October). The tournament’s top two teams will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997 are eligible for the 2020 Olympics. Additionally, each team is allowed to select three overage players. The U.S. men have not qualified for the Olympics since 2008.

Kreis’ greatest success as a coach came when he was in charge of Real Salt Lake from 2007-2013. He guided Salt Lake to the playoffs every year from 2008-2013, winning its only MLS Cup in 2009.

He joined expansion team New York City FC in late 2013 and guided the club through its inaugural season in 2015, in which it finished 8th in the Eastern Conference. Kreis and NYCFC mutually parted ways after the 2015 season.

His next coaching gig came when he replaced Adrien Heath at Orlando City in July 2016. Orlando finished 8th in the Eastern Conference in 2016 and 10th in 2017. Kreis was fired in June 2018, after two years of poor results.

Kreis had a prolific playing career, joining MLS in 1996 after three years playing in the U.S. lower divisions.

From 1996-2007, he featured for Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) and scored 91 goals in 247 appearances. He added another 17 goals in 58 appearances, for Salt Lake, from 2005-2007. Kreis also earned 14 USMNT caps (from 1996-2000) and scored 1 goal.

While qualifying for the Olympics has proven to be tough for the U.S. in previous years, Kreis has a lot of talent to draw from, as evidenced by the roster for the upcoming friendlies against Egypt and the Netherlands.

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