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Jason Kreis Can Build Orlando City Into a Winner -- But It'll Take Time

The Lions got their man, but it's most likely going to take some time for Jason Kreis to build Orlando City into the winner they're looking for.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Bookmark this tweet right here.

That quote is important for a couple of reasons, but one above all the rest: Jason Kreis has a vision, and it's not going to become reality over the next 15 games -- at least not entirely.

After being officially introduced to the media on Wednesday, Kreis begins his quest to bring Orlando City back to the glory days the club so fondly remembers, bringing in trophy after trophy on its way into Major League Soccer. And as the man they say "checked all the boxes," there will be pressure to deliver.

Kreis comes to Orlando with a young core and a talented roster, easily capable of competing with the best in a weak Eastern Conference. Orlando City entered MLS with a three-year plan that ultimately didn't see the time it needed to pan out with Adrian Heath, and the club now believes it has the right coach to see that plan through.

But, while Orlando City can still very much make the playoffs this season, Kreis said during his press conference that the goal is still to make the playoffs and win championships, but not necessarily this season, which makes it clear that while, yes, the team will still take the field each match with the intent to win the game, Kreis and his staff will be looking at each match and evaluating the club to see what changes need to be made in the off-season to fit his vision.

"Part of the process that Phil asked me to do was make an evaluation of the club, and so we went back and looked at the last nine matches and scouted those matches in a very detailed fashion," Kreis said on Wednesday. "Obviously we have some knowledge of the group going into last year as well, but the evaluation basically was this: there are some pieces here that are incredibly exciting to build around. There are some leaders in this group that should be able to be the backbone of the club.

"And it's an exciting prospect, so that as we look towards the future, I believe that we will be able to help turn this club into a consistent successful club in competing for and winning championships. But I do not believe -- and I have to be clear about this -- I don't think that that has to happen overnight."

Kreis, best known for successfully utilizing the 4-4-2 diamond midfield formation with RSL, will obviously attempt to deploy that same system with Orlando City, but at the same time, he's in no rush to do so, as that could completely throw off the club at this point of the season. Orlando City has enough personnel to run in that system, and with a couple more moves this off-season could be an even more perfect fit for it.

Or Kreis could look at the club's remaining games this season and ultimately decide that maybe the 4-2-3-1 really is the best shape for this team moving forward. But regardless, patience is key.

Kreis has shown what he can do in MLS. His 102-77-60 record across 239 games and two MLS Cup appearances across seven seasons with RSL shows what he can accomplish in this league. NYCFC was not a symbol of who he is as a coach. Simply put, he got tricked into believing City Football Group though he was the perfect man to lead them in the long-term, without realizing he would never truly be given to time to accomplish anything.

"The game in the United States is very different than most of the countries in the world. We have different systems. We have different rules," said Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins. "Everything about the game is slightly different than it is anywhere else in the world. And therefore, if you bring an international coach in, which we never intended to do by the way, they've got, usually, a 12- to maybe 18-month, 24-month learning curve to understand the college system, the draft, young players, Homegrown Players, allocation money, target allocation money, the cap system — everything about this is a learning process for someone who doesn't know the systems well.

"And in Jason — and in all of our candidates — we had people who knew soccer in the United States, who knew and understood those things and knew how to work with them. And in Jason, more than anybody else, we had someone who'd been successful in those systems."

Orlando City got its man. Now we wait to see his vision turn into reality.