June 19, 2018 / 11:42 PM / 8 months ago

Orlando City CEO: Kaká not in mix for coach opening

Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitao says he’d like to have a new coach hired in the next week, but iconic Brazilian midfielder Kaká isn’t a candidate.

Leitao, speaking to ProSoccerUSA.com in a phone interview, shot down rumors that Kaká could fill the position vacated by Jason Kreis, who was fired last week with the team in the midst of a six-game losing streak.

“The club’s doors are always open for [Kaká],” he said. “The moment he decides what he wants to do, we’d love to give him the opportunity. He wants to study under someone. We didn’t talk about him accepting any kind of role with the club right now.”

Kaká announced his retirement from the sport in December. He joined Orlando City and Major League Soccer from Milan in 2014 and spent three seasons with the club before departing in 2017. Kaká made a quick impact in MLS, scoring nine goals in his first two seasons with Orlando City and being named an All-Star in all three of his campaigns with the club.

Orlando City has a press conference scheduled for Saturday ahead of its game against the Montreal Impact, but it won’t be to announce a new coach, Leitao said.

General manager Niki Budalic is conducting early interviews for the position.

“As much as we understand that fans are very anxious, that we are very anxious and to give the fans as name as fast as possible, it’s very, very important to us to do it right,” Leitão said, per ProSoccerUSA.com. “We’re not rushing. We’re not going to take too much time with process.

“I believe we’ll be able to announce a name next week. It’s great to know this club is a desirable club. We have interest from hundreds of people. They believe in the players we have. They believe in the fan base.”

Kreis went 21-29-14 in parts of three seasons with the club. Assistant Bobby Murphy is serving as the team’s interim coach.

“I trust him,” Leitao said of Murphy. “He was here before Jason and he’ll be here. He’s the guy who knows the club, knows the players. He’s the right guy at this stage with us. I hope he can continue to contribute with us when the new coach comes.”

—Field Level Media

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