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SANDY — With Jason Kreis moving on to coach New York City's new franchise, Real Salt Lake needed to find a new coach, and the team kept the job inside by hiring Jeff Cassar.
Cassar has been with Real Salt Lake since 2007 as the goalkeeper coach who has helped Nick Rimando become a star. In 2010, under Cassar and Kreis, RSL allowed just 20 goals in 30 games.
In his tenure as first assistant coach, the Claret and Cobalt have been to the CONCACAF Champions League final in 2011, a U.S. Open Cup final and the MLS Cup final in 2013. He was on the coaching squad for RSL's lone MLS Cup championship.
Rimando has been an MLS All-Star in 2010, 2011 and 2013, while also a member of the U.S. Men's National Team. Cassar has served as goalkeeper coach for the USMNT twice with current U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Cassar played for 11 seasons in Major League Soccer spending time with three squads, Dallas from 1996-97 and 2003-06, Miami Fusion FC from 1998-2001 and New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 2002. He made 79 appearances and 76 starts.
Cassar played with Kyle Beckerman and Rimando with the Miami Fusion in 2000-01, Garth Lagerway with the Dallas Burn in 1997 and the Fusion in 1999-2000.
Real Salt Lake will hold a press conference with Cassar, owner Dell Loy Hansen, president Bill Manning and general manager Garth Lagerway to formally announce the hiring Thursday.
“We’re very excited for Jeff to become the third head coach in Real Salt Lake history,” Hansen said in a press release. “Jeff’s been a crucial member of the RSL family since 2007. His terrific leadership abilities, strong character and understanding of our locker room, tactics and overarching club culture will allow us to continue to compete for trophies in 2014 and beyond.”
The conference will be held in the Toyota 100 Lions Club at Rio Tinto Stadium at noon. It was also be streamed live at RealSaltLake.com.