Dear New York City Football Club President Tom Glick,

Hey Tom, hope you've been well. It's been a while since—actually, I don't think we've ever talked. Which is a shame, because I just got your wacky press release about you firing NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis, and it's clear you could've used some help with the messaging on this one.

Let's start with that title: "Jason Kreis leaves post as New York City FC Head Coach". Sure, it's factually accurate, but when a sentence later you switch to "parted company" and then "the decision", it's pretty clear he's only leaving because you've shoved him out the door.

And boy, Tom, those performance targets you're saying he failed to meet - what a shove! Good of you to get Jason to agree to the fool's errand of a playoff position, especially after Pellegrini screwed him out of getting Lampard on time. I know it's easier to make the playoffs than not in MLS, but maybe don't rub his face in it? Even annual failure specialist Rex Ryan got a more professional dismissal from the Jets. Maybe just stick to the pleasantries, with you wishing him well further down the page.

While we're on that—why did you have the Communications team attribute those quotes to you and not the sporting director, Claudio Reyna? You've got to subscribe to the McDLT model: Keep the sporting side sporting, and the business side business. Otherwise, people might think Claudio is just a figurehead with no real role!

Tom, I'll level with you. The press release, while awkward and strange, isn't my real worry. It's that you've now sent a clear message to your fans and to coaching candidates. If this is how you treat a coach that was described as a "perfect fit" for the project, that you sent to Manchester for a year just to learn and grow, why would any other coach else want to come work for you? Why should fans expect anything other than constant turnover when you gave up on The Chosen One?

You'll undoubtedly find some big-name European coach to take over, someone with a fabulous pedigree. Maybe Fabio Capello, maybe Patrick Vieira, maybe some other crazy name (Brendan Rodgers?) that the British tabloids can link you with.

The thing many teams have tried this. And it almost always ends in some sort of awful implosion and failure. You ever read The Beckham Experiment? It's a seminal book on the big-budget MLS experience (largely because no one ever writes books about MLS FOLLLLLLLLLLKS), as the Galaxy floundered immediately after signing Goldenballs. There's that incident where Alexi Lalas (remember him?) is trying to explain to Ruud Gullit how MLS rules work:

Just days after Gullit had taken over, Lalas tried to explain to him the rules of the MLS expansion draft, which called for each team to submit a list of twelve protected players. The first-year San Jose Earthquakes could select one player from each team who wasn't protected. (The Galaxy ended up losing Gavin Glinton.)
"Ruud, you can protect twelve players," Lalas told him.
"No, I want to protect them all," Gullit replied. "I don't want to lose any of them."
"Okay, Ruud, I understand what you're saying, but the rules are you have to protect twelve."
"Why would I not protect them all?"
"Well, you can't."
"Then the player should just refuse the transfer!"

It's not that MLS is so weirdly unique that it's impossible to win with a foreign coach. It's that there's so many weird quirks (salary cap, drafts, discovery rules, playoffs) that most foreign coaches inevitably hit a point where had they known everything they were getting into, they probably wouldn't have come. You need someone to help guide them through (and protect them from) the crazy - and it goes without saying Claudio isn't that guy.

Tom, honestly, I'm really worried you read my joke about blowing up the team because it worked for the Red Bulls and took it seriously.

Look, you pulled the trigger, and in fairness, Jason certainly made some questionable decisions as coach. So I'm not going to quarrel with the decision. Better to do this now than midseason, or during pre-season. (Kudos for doing it the first business day after your season ticket holders' renewal deadline - that was inspired!) But after the club spent the better part of two years explaining "The City Way", you might want to get that new coach in place and get the executives doing the rounds to explain how things are actually going to be different.

Otherwise, "The City Way" is going to look a lot like the 1996 MetroStars way. And no one wants that.

All the best,


UPDATE: As is traditional, Jason Kreis took to social media and posted a screenshot of a letter to the NYCFC community:

I would like to sincerely thank NYCFC, and in particular Claudio Reyna, for allowing me this terrific opportunity and tremendous challenge to start a new club from scratch in the great city of New York. A further thank you goes out to all of the incredibly supportive NYCFC fans. You are what the club should be most proud of right now and it is you who will carry NYCFC through to many future successes. Thanks as well to all of the club's office staff, back room staff, and team staff. Your tireless efforts behind closed doors are never appreciated enough and the club simply would not succeed without everyone's effort. Finally, my biggest appreciation goes out to the 2015 NYCFC players. Thanks for your great work and commitment to give everything of yourselves every single day. Ultimately, this journey may have ended a bit abruptly and a bit to [sic] soon for my liking, but I hope that everyone knows that I gave my heart and soul to this project, to this club, and to this team. We have all contributed to history, to the building of the foundation of what will be a great club in a great city, and no one can ever take that away from us.

Audentes Fortuna Juvat,

Jason Kreis