It all ended with a thank you.
“The biggest thing is, thank you. This has been home for me for 11 years. Oh man, I’m getting choked up. We made some amazing friends, I got to work with amazing people and this has really become home for me and I will miss it dearly... It’s been an honor and a blessing to be a part of it.”
11 years at one club is a long time. So what do you do when it’s all over? If you’re Jeff Cassar, you’re going to see Beauty and the Beast with your family. Spending as much quality time with them as possible before the next opportunity comes calling. But don’t expect it to be too long.
“I definitely want to get back into it as quickly as I can. I don’t like to rest or be on vacation. I just like to work.
It doesn’t really matter for Cassar whether that’s as a head coach, or as an assistant.
“I just want to help.”
To give back to the game that’s given him so much.
“This game’s given me so many wonderful relationships and friendships, and there’s been a lot of people reaching out to me, and saying, ‘when you’re ready to talk, give us a call.’”
Cassar was charismatic as always; it’s no wonder he has so many great relationships in soccer. But more than anything, Cassar was gracious in the interview. Big Show hosts Spencer Checketts and Gordon Monson gave Cassar opportunities to throw RSL management under the bus, to “pull back the curtain” and get a few parting jabs at Dell Loy Hansen or Craig Waibel, but Cassar was as classy as ever.
“I think Dell Loy is a brilliant businessman and he gave me the opportunity to be a head coach in this league, and I’m extremely grateful for that. He’s done a lot for the club in this city and this state.”
Checketts also asked Cassar about what really happened when it came to benching Javier Morales in Seattle.
“We wanted him as fresh as possible (for the game on Wednesday).”
Why Nat Borchers wasn’t kept in Salt Lake.
“We were crushed up against the salary cap. It was never a quality thing, it was a salary cap issue.”
And why the management core from RSL’s golden years wasn’t kept intact.
“I wish I knew the answer to that. I don’t know.”
Cassar reiterated what he’s said in other interviews, saying that the roster is full of talent and the staff is “first class.”
“I think this team is destined for very good things and I think it was building character having this grind.”
One thing’s for sure, optimism abounds. Much more than you’d expect after the club parted ways with their manager three games into the season. So whether it’s for Cassar, or the community, or the club, the future is bright. And no matter where you stand on Cassar as a coach, you have to agree that he’s a great man, who cared deeply for the club and the community for 11 years. And for that, we say “thank you” back.