Like “mutual” breakups, Jason Kreis totally wasn’t into Xavi in the first place.
According to AS, Xávi Hernández’s time with Barcelona will come to an end this summer. It’s the end of an era that we all thought was going to end a year ago. The Spanish paper is reporting that Xávi is off to Qatari club Al Sadd SC on a three-year deal, making 10 million euros annually. No one knows who or what Al Sadd SC is, other than the dark abyss Raúl González fell into between leaving Schalke and signing with something called the New York Cosmos. What’s more important is what Al Sadd SC is not — namely, a Major League Soccer franchise.
For what feels like time immemorial, Xávi has been linked to New York. Primarily because the European rumor media most likely doesn’t know that three professional teams claim the city — or at least the region — as home, it was never clear if “New York” meant the Red Bulls, the Cosmos, or the new kids in blue. In recent months the rumor mill slowed its wheels and it was “revealed” that New York City FC was the team actively pursuing the Barça midfielder’s signature (currently).
Because some people just can’t help but to be a little corny and trip over themselves in the media, yesterday NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis offered a comically weak response when asked about the possibility of Xávi joining his team this summer:
“I would say I am really split. I’m on the fence. I’m a huge fan of Xavi Hernandez. I think he would be a huge player in this league, no doubt about it. Huge for new York City, huge for the club. But positionally, I don’t know it makes the best sense and the most sense — but I am open for anything.”
Cut it out, Kreis.
The Bronxchester boss responded as if he didn’t know damn well that his owners had been chasing the midfielder signature for over a year, and that he was ready to do backflips — or how Kreis expresses joy, with a mayonnaise sandwich — the moment a deal was completed. This is the soccer equivalent of “she’s not even that pretty” when a girl rejects you, and you see her out with someone else.
“This is always difficult because when you think about a player like Xavi Hernandez, for me, one of the best players in the world ever, you say to yourself, on one side you sit there and say there’s no doubt that a player like that will be great at New York City, but when you look at it from another view and say you only got three of these (Designated Player slots), and you already got another one that plays in the midfield and you got a third one in David Villa, whose all relative age are getting up there, you start to think, maybe not.”
Jason … you don’t have to do this. There’s no way that Kreis didn’t know that an announcement of Xavi’s move to Qatar was all but done. Why would he set himself up to sound so silly? It’s bad enough that he and NYCFC were shot down and used for leverage to get get him an outlandish salary, he didn’t have to pile on to the embarrassment by telling obvious lies and pretending that Xávi isn’t coming because he’s worried that it might not be a good roster fit.
No one believes a word of this, except maybe NYCFC fans. The’ve got that new-kid-at-school naivety about them. Like the freshman you sold fake elevator passes to in high school, when there was no elevator in the building. They’ll believe anything because their fresh faces don’t know how MLS works yet.