Real Salt Lake promotes Cassar to head coach

The former goalkeeper coach will fill the vacancy left by Jason Kreis, who left after the MLS Cup final to take over expansion club NYCFC.
Real Salt Lakehas filled its head coaching vacancy from within, promoting goalkeeper coach Jeff Cassar to the top job left vacant by Jason Kreis.

Cassar has served as the goalkeeper coach under Kreis since May 2007 and was part of the staff that led Real Salt Lake to the 2009 MLS Cup and several other tournament finals.

“We’re very excited for Jeff to become the third head coach in Real Salt Lake history,” RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen said in a news release. "Jeff’s been a crucial member of the RSL family since 2007. His terrific leadership abilities, strong character and understanding of our locker room, tactics and overarching club culture will allow us to continue to compete for trophies in 2014 and beyond.”

The 39-year-old becomes the third head coach in team history after Kreis and John Ellinger. Kreis left days after Real Salt Lake lost the MLS Cup final to Sporting Kansas City on penalty kicks, taking over at NYCFC, which will join MLS in 2015.

Cassar began coaching after a MLS career that included a stint with the Miami Fusion where he split time with current Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerway and was eventually forced to the bench by an upstart named Nick Rimando.

Rimando is now closing in on 200 appearances for Real Salt Lake and was named an All-Star in 2010, 2011 and 2013 under Cassar's tutelage. The new coach also played with Kreis in Dallas, where after retiring as a player he became the goalkeeper coach before joining Kreis' staff in Salt Lake.

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