Toronto FC hire ex-Red Bulls director Curtis as GM, Bezbatchenko departs
Toronto FC have made a big change at boardroom level.
"Ali brings great MLS experience having been a player, an executive in the league office, and as New York Red Bulls sporting director," said TFC 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."
Curtis, 40, left the Red Bulls before the 2017 campaign after overseeing the club's 2015 MLS Supporters’ Shield triumph and their East-best record in 2016. He was also instrumental in the establishing of NYRB II, the club's prolific development team.
As Curtis enters, Tim Bezbatchenko exits. Toronto confirmed Bezbatchenko, who also served as senior vice president of soccer operations, will depart with immediate effect "to pursue another opportunity." The native Ohian was reported this week to be close to joining the Columbus Crew as team president.
"With this exciting change comes the departure of a valued executive and friend, but we understand Tim's desire to pursue a new challenge," Manning continued. "On behalf of everyone at Toronto FC, we want to thank Tim for his contributions to the club over the past five years. Tim played a big part in helping TFC win multiple trophies and we wish Tim, Annie, and their family all the best in the future."
Manning and Toronto owe much to Bezbatchenko. The 37-year-old helped transform the Reds from MLS laughingstock to MLS Cup winners since his arrival in late 2013, building a side including Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco, and Jozy Altidore. After a disappointing 2018, however, it is Curtis who will lead the Canadian outfit into 2019.
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