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Red Bulls hire Curtis as sporting director

Ali Curtis #11


The New York Red Bulls’ previous sporting director was well-versed in the European game. Their new one knows about all things on the domestic front.

Sources have informed SBI that the Red Bulls have found the successor for Andy Roxburgh, hiring retired forward Ali Curtis as the club’s sporting director. Curtis, 36, was most recently the senior director of player relations and competition for MLS. first reported the deal, adding that Curtis is on a one-year contract.

Curtis, who has never held a management position for a team, joins a Red Bulls side that saw Roxburgh depart last week after two years at the helm. Curtis will be tasked with trying to improve a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but lost the masterful Thierry Henry to retirement.

A former player who attended Duke, Curtis hung up his cleats for good in 2004. He was drafted three years earlier by the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny, and also went on to play for D.C. United and Dallas Burn.

New York technical director Ricardo Campos and New England Revolution assistant Tom Soehn were some of the other candidates up for the sporting director job, with sources confirming to SBI that Soehn turned down a two-year contract offer for the position, which then led to the Red Bulls hiring Curtis.


What do you make of Curtis’ appointment? Like the move? What should be his first priority with the Red Bulls?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The bigapple article said its a one year deal. Not surprising others turned it down. Is it worth moving your family for a 1 year deal. Ali Curtis works in NYC with MLS so he won’t have to move.

    • Plus it’s advancement in his career. A step up. I don’t envy him at all. It’s going to be a tough job, but if he finds success here, hopefully he’s here for longer than a year. We all know that a team can turn around a lot in a year though.

    • I think it’s tough to give a guy a one year contract in a position like that. Seems like an acknowledgment that it’s an experiment and they don’t want to be committed for too long. Which as a fan doesn’t make me feel too great.

      • No contracts are forever. They could give him a 5 yr contract and fire him in 3 months paying some percentage depending on the terms. If he looks good they would look to extend the contract just like they did for Petke.

      • Of course, but giving him a one-year deal just says that they don’t want to be committed to him because they have no idea how he’s going to do.

      • and?
        The guy is a Duke grad, lawyer, who has been around the league for 15+ years. He know how this stuff works. Nobody knows how he is going to do including him…..

    • Hiring a league guy for a one year contract might look like a “For Sale” sign.

      This was the first step when the league absorbed Chivas

  2. The best clubs in MLS have been coached by US coaches. Arena, Schmidt, Kreis, Petke. It makes sense that the same should hold for sporting directors (since they do not often get the press coaches do, there may be an odd European who has been successful there).

    I was trying to find some way to say that as long as a sporting director from the US is not named Lalas it will not be too bad for the club. Help me, there must be someone with a worse track record in that regard than Alexi.

    • What on earth are you talking about? All Lalas did was win two championships leading San Jose and bring Beckham to LA which by the way, spurned on the economic growth MLS enjoys today. Stop be a troll, especially when it comes to an old narrative. Invetigate, read and make logical fact based comments. Otherwise go back to big apple soccer dot com.

  3. No 3rd dpfor the last 2 years of Henry’s tenure, no attempt to fortify the roster with strong moves in the last year before NYCFC enters the market, no attempt to go head to head in marketing against NYCFC, no USL Pro team, no offer to Lagerwey. This is just another in a series of underwhelming moves for this club to the point that I am beginning to seriously wonder if the NYRB management even cares about this club anymore.

    • They are forming a USL Pro team.

      Looks like they are slowly changing over to domestic management after not much progress with Europeans. First Backe was switched for Petke, now Roxburgh for Curtis. Seems logical to me.

    • Calm down. They are having a USL: team in 2015 and we have no idea what moves they are working on right now.

      Also, for years my fellow fans have whined about how we need an American coach & sporting director & how we need to develop American talent instead of buying old Euro players.

      Now RBNY is doing that & the fans are still complaining.

      We have the whiniest fans in MLS.

      • They are now supposedly doing the USL Pro team but otherwise I think Tom is right. Everything that’s been done over the last couple of years screams cheap and this move, hiring some unknown on a one year contract, is no different.

        I don’t know which fans you’re talking about but I think that we need to develop young talent (American or otherwise) but also sign three DPs. And Henry/Cahill level DPs – not cheap out DPs. That’s what a serious team in a big market does. For example – LA Galaxy. You may also have noticed that they’ve won 3 of the last 4 MLS Cups. Often times, “old Euro players”, like Henry or Keane, are really good!

    • You seem more interested in the perceived moves then the results:
      2013 Supporters Sheild
      2014 semifinals – they had within their own power the chances to finish to advance. – they are forming a USL team
      no offer to Lagerwey – are you sure?
      NYCFC – no results. NYRB – see above for 2013 and 2014.


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