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Toronto FC hires Ali Curtis as general manager after Bezbatchenko departure

Toronto FC president Bill Manning, left, new general manager Ali Curtis, center, and head coach Greg Vanney hold up a team scarf during an MLS soccer news conference introducing Curtis Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Toronto. (Neil Davidson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto FC has a new general manager in place. The club announced its hire of Ali Curtis to the position, which was left open after Tim Bezbatchenko’s departure.

Curtis previously served as sporting director for the New York Red Bulls from 2015-16. During that span, the Red Bulls won the 2015 Supporters’ Shield and went to the MLS Cup playoff semifinals and quarterfinals, respectively.

The club’s USL team, New York Red Bulls II, which was created under Curtis’s leadership, won the USL Shield and the USL Cup in 2016.

Before joining the Red Bulls, Curtis worked for the MLS league office. There, according to MLS, he managed club budgets, negotiated player contracts, oversaw the MLS Homegrown Player program and was involved with collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

11 January 2015: New York Red Bulls technical director Ali Curtis (left) with New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps (right). (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Curtis was an MLS player himself from 2001 to 2004, after being drafted second overall in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft.

He played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny, DC United and FC Dallas during his three-year playing career.

Toronto was on the hunt for a new general manager after Bezbatchenko reportedly departed to join the Columbus Crew as team president.

Curtis will attempt to lead the club to a better season than last: Toronto won only 10 matches in 2018, and finished third from the bottom of the table in the MLS Eastern Conference.

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