MLS Ticker: TFC hires Ali Curtis, Barco sidelined four weeks, and more

MLS Ticker: TFC hires Ali Curtis, Barco sidelined four weeks, and more

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MLS Ticker: TFC hires Ali Curtis, Barco sidelined four weeks, and more

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One of the most coveted front-office free agents in Major League Soccer has a new home.

Toronto FC named Ali Curtis as its new general manager on Thursday, and he’ll start his new role immediately, with Tim Bezbatchenko reportedly set to take a similar position with the Columbus Crew.

“Ali brings great MLS experience having been a player, an executive in the league office and as New York Red Bulls sporting director,” Toronto FC president Bill Manning said.

“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,” Manning said. “We needed to move quickly and decisively and we are excited to get right to work with Ali, beginning with next week’s draft.”

Curtis’ most recent job saw him serve as the New York Red Bulls’ sporting director. During his two seasons with the club in 2015 and 2016, the Red Bulls captured the best record in the Eastern Conference twice as well as the Supporters’ Shield in his first season.

Inter Miami CF hires Kurt Schmid as Technical Director

Inter Miami may not be playing in Major League Soccer for another year, but that didn’t stop them from hiring an MLS veteran to their front office.

The club announced on Thursday that they’ve hired Kurt Schmid as the team’s first technical director. Schmid joins Inter Miami after a lengthy career with the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders.

“We are extremely happy to welcome Kurt to the Inter Miami family,” said Sporting Director Paul McDonough. “His deep roots in the national soccer landscape, paired with his vast global scouting experience will be an invaluable component for our club and our technical staff.”

Schmid is the son of the recently passed away MLS head coach Sigi. His career began in 2009 with Seattle as an assistant coach and scout, helping the Sounders to four U.S. Open Cups and one Supporters Shield. He was named Head Scout in 2016 which then saw the Sounders lift the MLS Cup that season. He also served as Director of Player Personnel before departing for Los Angeles.

In 2017, Schmid was the Galaxy’s Director of Player Personnel and Scouting. He will work with McDonough on all soccer-related aspects.

Ezequiel Barco set to miss four weeks with right knee injury

Atlanta United confirmed on Thursday that Ezequiel Barco would be sidelined for three to four weeks with right knee tendonitis suffered while on international duty with Argentina’s U-20 National Team.

Barco featured in 26 games during his first MLS campaign in 2018, starting 19 of those matches. The teenager scored four goals and added three assists in the regular season.

Atlanta United’s season beings on February 21st, as it takes on Herediano in their first Concacaf Champions League match.

Real Salt Lake adds a pair to homegrown contracts

Real Salt Lake added to their deep roster with a pair of homegrown signings on Thursday. Midfielder Tate Schmitt and defender Erik Holt have been signed for the 2019 season, and are both products of the RSL Academy.

Schmitt, 21, was an All-ACC First Team honoree in 2018 at the University of Louisville. He finished his career fourth in career points with 69.

The 22-year-old Holt appeared in 71 games at UCLA and earned All-Pac 12 honors in both 2017 and 2018. The centerback is a former U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team performer.

“We know that Tate and Erik are players that would be first round selections if they entered the draft. Having the ability to sign both as RSL Academy graduates is another step in following our youth development philosophy  while giving both the ability to develop into first team players over time,” RSL general manager Craig Waibel said. “They both had remarkable college careers and we are excited about what the future holds for them were at the club.”

RSL opens the 2019 regular season on the road against the Houston Dynamo on March 2nd.

Yangel Herrera training with Manchester City, to be loaned in January

After two seasons with New York City FC on loan from Manchester City, it seems Yangel Herrera will be sent out on loan once again with several Spanish sides interested in the Venezuelan international.

Herrera won his way into Patrick Vieira’s side during his first campaign with NYCFC in 2017, as he featured on 18 occasions. In the following campaign, the 20-year-old missed a large chunk of the season due to injury.

Herrera featured in all three of NYCFC’s playoff games against the Philadelphia Union and Atlanta United.

Andy Loughnane appointed as Austin FC’s first club president

Austin FC announced on Thursday the appointment of Andy Loughnane as the first club president.

Lougnane has a connection with current Austin FC CEO Anthony Precour, as the pair worked together at Columbus Crew SC with Loughnane acting as the club’s president of business operations.

“Andy’s long track record of success in the sports and entertainment industry, and his instrumental leadership of Columbus Crew SC make him the ideal leader to serve as president of Austin FC,” Precourt said in a statement.

“The opportunity to launch a city’s first major league team, open a state-of-the-art stadium, and begin the process of competing for the first major league championship in the history of Austin is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am incredibly honored to represent Anthony Precourt and Major League Soccer as we collectively build this community asset for all of Austin to enjoy,”  Loughnane said.

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