Orlando City hires Jason Kreis as new head coach

The MLS side has hired former Real Salt Lake and New York City FC coach Jason Kreis, the club announced Tuesday.

When Orlando City parted ways with popular coach Adrian Heath, there was some question as to whether the club's Brazilian-based ownership might hire a foreign option new to American soccer as his replacement.

The Lions have gone in the opposite direction, hiring an American with an MLS Cup on his resume.

Orlando City has hired Jason Kreis as the club's second MLS head coach, the club announced Tuesday. Multiple sources had confirmed to Goal USA earlier Tuesday that Kreis would be the choice to lead the side going forward. FourFourTwo first reported the talks between Kreis and Orlando City on Sunday. 

An MLS Cup winner in 2009 during his time as coach of Real Salt Lake, Kreis was most recently in charge of New York City FC, guiding the club through its disappointing expansion season in 2015. That season also happened to be Orlando City's first in MLS as well. NYCFC fired Kreis and replaced him with Patrick Vieira, while Orlando gave Heath the 2016 season to try and turn the Lions into a contender.

Orlando endured mediocre results through the first half of 2016, which eventually led to Heath's departure from a club he had coached since its days in the USL.

Heath's departure came after a 4-0 loss to FC Dallas on July 4, with Bobby Murphy serving as interim coach through a three-match winless run.

Kreis has spent part of 2016 serving as a member of U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann's staff. He has been linked to other jobs in MLS as well, including the Seattle Sounders, where he has long been seen as a leading candidate to replace Sigi Schmid.

Seattle's struggles this season seemed to make a potential Kreis move a possibility, but now Orlando has stepped up and landed one of the most highly regarded coaches in American soccer.

Orlando travels to Columbus to take on the Crew on Saturday.