Kreis returns to RSL with NYC

Sandy, UT ( - A number of familiar faces will be making their return to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday as New York City FC tangles with Real Salt Lake.

NYC will be led by former RSL head coach Jason Kreis, while players like Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert will also be returning to the ground they called home for a number of seasons.

Kreis was in charge of Salt Lake from 2007-2013, and he guided the team to the MLS Cup title in 2009.

But the NYC boss will be more concerned with turning around the fortunes of his new side, which is currently mired in a nine-game winless streak.

Expansion teams certainly have the potential for a slow start with so many new faces to bring together, but it's hard to imagine that Kreis would think his team would struggle this much.

Khiry Shelton's stoppage-time equalizer against the Chicago Fire last Friday helped the side to a 2-2 draw and allowed them to avoid a fifth successive defeat.

Saturday's game will be the only meeting between the teams, and Grabavoy is expecting there to be plenty of emotion on the night.

"I think there's going to be some extra emotion there," said Grabavoy, who featured in 159 games for RSL from 2009-2014. "I've played on some previous clubs and gone back and it hasn't meant as much. I think this is different just because of how long I was there and how many relationships are still there currently there at the club. I can sit here and talk about it, but I won't know how I feel until I get back, or training at the stadium the day before the game and ultimately walking out to play a match at a place I love in front of fans I thought are some of the best in the league."

Hoping to spoil the homecoming of Kreis is his former side, which suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at Montreal last weekend.

RSL looked out of sorts in the opening half as the Impact scored three times in the span of 11 minutes, including two goals from Andres Romero.

Current Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar will be hoping for a response from his team, and he believes in order to achieve that, his team must get back to basics.

"At the end of the day, it's just executing. It's about winning your individual battles and forcing them into difficult situations," Cassar said. "They have quality players. All the players that Jason has at his disposal are the ones that he's handpicked through expansion and through discovery. So they have a very good team. They're trying to build cohesion like every team is."