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RSL must re-sign club fixture and longtime coach Jason Kreis

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Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sport

RSL has to re-sign Jason Kreis, there is no way around it. From what RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen said recently, it is clear that negotiations are very much underway. Since Kreis took the helm, every Real Salt Lake fan will tell you that the difference has been night and day. Within a relatively short amount of time RSL won MLS cup as a very young franchise and went head to head with the best in the continent in CONCACAF Champions League and came a goal away from being the best in the continent.

You could make the argument that Real has consistently been the best team in MLS over the past three or four years, that according to someone who knows a thing about quality soccer in Thierry Henry (along with many other MLS fans.) RSL currently sit atop the MLS table, exceeding expectations of nearly everyone inside and outside of the organization after trading away three all-star players that were a huge part of their success since 2008.

This all begs the question: How much should Kreis be paid if he is to renew his contract with the team? Undoubtedly, Kreis has the upper hand in whatever negotiations are going on behind closed doors. He has lead RSL to the top of the league and it would be next to impossible to argue that he doesn't deserve a raise. He recruited players that love to play for him.

The fans love him. I mean, his name and jersey number are permanently placed in the Rio Tinto Stadium rafters. Hansen is an astute businessman and knows the value of staff like Kreis and risk involved in not closing the deal to bring him back. It is not out of the question that losing Kreis could throw the club into a bit of a frenzy. As good of a businessman as Hansen is, it seems that the only foot he has to stand on in this debate will be the budgetary limitations that RSL has as a franchise. That said, Hansen might be able to dig into his own wallet to make this happen.

In his interviews, Hansen has given high praise to Kreis, calling him a "beautiful" coach and insinuated that other teams are after him. He knows what he has in Kreis and what he brings to the franchise. My best guess is that if you gave Hansen some truth serum and asked him just how badly RSL needs Kreis to return, he would tell you it is an absolute necessity. He would also tell you that the main reason he hasn't go the deal done yet is that there is a budget that RSL has to keep which makes things a bit more difficult than they would seem.

I believe Hansen will do whatever it takes to keep Kreis unless barring the deal puts the franchise in financial trouble. If Kreis doesn't come back, then the press will really have a reason to doubt RSL's ability to have success next season.