Red Bulls confirm exit of sporting director Ali Curtis
Putting an end to a drawn-out saga, the executive is leaving the Red Bulls after leading the club to first-place finishes in each of his two seasons.
The New York Red Bulls and sporting director Ali Curtis have parted ways after failing “to work through differing views,” the club confirmed Thursday.
New York’s announcement puts an end to a prolonged saga after Curtis left the club’s contingent in Los Angeles ahead of the MLS draft, with the sporting director’s name conspicuously absent from club news releases in recent weeks.
Traded to the Chicago Fire in January, former New York captain Dax McCarty told reporters last week that “it’s clear for everyone to see that he’s no longer a part of the decision-making process going on at the Red Bulls.”
In Thursday’s news release, the Red Bulls said: “Over the past four weeks, Curtis and the club tried to work through differing views. Ultimately, both sides agreed to part ways.”
“I thank the New York Red Bulls for the opportunity,” Curtis said. “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.
“Lastly, the lifeblood of a club remains its fans, and I would be remiss if I did not thank them for their tremendous passion. 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.”
The Red Bulls hired Curtis as sporting director in December 2014 and the former MLS striker immediately put his stamp on the team, firing fan-favorite coach Mike Petke and replacing him with Jesse Marsch.
Curtis and Marsch led the Red Bulls to a Supporters’ Shield title in 2015 and another first-place finish in the Eastern Conference last year. The duo failed to take New York to an MLS Cup appearance, however, dropping the conference final to the Columbus Crew in 2015 before falling in the conference semifinals to the Montreal Impact this past fall.