"We’re very pleased to add Ali to our team ahead of the 2015 season," said General Manager Marc de Grandpre. "As a former player and league executive, Ali brings a wealth of MLS knowledge to the Sporting Director position and we’re excited to bring him on board."
Curtis has spent seven seasons in MLS Headquarters working in player relations and competition and was the Special Assistant to the Office of the Commissioner. His time with MLS HQ gives him a unique point of view, especially since he's been involved with club budgets in his latest position as "Senior Director of Player Relations and Competition". He also supervised the Homegrown Player Program, which could be a big boon for the Red Bulls considering the recent departure of Dan Metzger and what it could mean for the future.
According to the announcement, Curtis will be responsible for all soccer activities at the club, including player acquisition and scouting, oversight of the coaching staff, technical staff and youth development as well as management of the soccer operations budget and salary cap. Basically, he would be to the Red Bulls what Phil Jackson is to the New York Knicks.
A former MLS player himself, Curtis was the second overall pick in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft by the Tampa Bay Mutiny. He spent four seasons in MLS with the Mutiny, D.C. United and FC Dallas, making 65 total appearances (35 starts) while scoring nine goals and adding eight assists.