One of the architects of the current New York Red Bulls system, Ali Curtis, has joined Toronto FC in the role of General Manager heading into the 2019 season. Curtis has been out of the game since departing the team ahead of the 2017 season.
“Ali brings great MLS experience having been a player, an executive in the league office and as New York Red Bulls Sporting Director, said Toronto FC president Bill Manning. “His work with the Red Bulls saw the club become Supporters’ Shield winners, while strengthening their academy and the pathway for youth players to become professionals. We needed to move quickly and decisively and we are excited to get right to work with Ali, beginning with next week’s draft.”
Few executives know the inner workings of Major League Soccer like Curtis. Upon joining the Red Bulls in 2015, he orchestrated the hiring of Jesse Marsch and solidified the team with transfers for Sacha Kljestan, Felipe Martins and Kemar Lawrence. He also helped establish a USL team, New York Red Bulls II, that produced Tyler Adams, Sean Davis, Alex Muyl and many others.
Curtis joins an MLS team that faltered mightily last season, going from treble winners in 2017 to outside of the playoff picture. TFC’s heavy salary restrictions weigh down the team. A general manager like Curtis will need to pull out all of the tricks to get them back into contention quickly.
Prior to joining the Red Bulls, Curtis spent eight years in the league office and was Senior Director of Player Relations and Competition. He was a M.A.C. Herman trophy winner in college and played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny back in 2001.