One of the strangest offseason storylines has come to a close, as the New York Red Bulls announced the departure of sporting director Ali Curtis.
The team announced the mutual decision to part ways with Curtis on Thursday, ending a month-long saga that left many Red Bulls fans in the dark about the status of their front office. The team states that while the two parties tried to resolve their differing views, they ultimately decided that parting ways was best, ending Curtis’ two year reign.
“We would like to thank Ali for his contributions to the club over the last two seasons.” said the Red Bulls official statement. “We wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.”
Curtis was a bit more wordy with his farewell message:
“I thank the New York Red Bulls for the opportunity,” said Ali Curtis. “It was a privilege and honor to serve the fans, players and staff. I am very proud of all the work and accomplishments of our team, both on and off the field, from the youth academy, through the USL team and to the first team. I would also like to thank the families of all of the staff and players as their support helped to fuel our achievements.”
“Lastly, the lifeblood of a club remains its fans, and I would be remiss if I did not thank them for their tremendous passion,”Curtis said. “The New York Metropolitan area will always be very special to me as my two children were born here, and loved cheering at Red Bull Arena. I will bring all of these good memories to my next opportunity in this great sport.”
Curtis led the Red Bulls to two Eastern Conference titles in his two years in charge, including winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2015, though the team fell in the Eastern Conference finals in 2015 to the Columbus Crew, and the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2016 to the Montreal Impact. Curtis also guided the team to their current quarterfinals appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League, and oversaw the development of the New York Red Bulls II, who won the USL Shield and Cup in 2016.