In a shocking late-season shake-up to their front office, the Red Bulls have removed sporting director Erik Soler and reassigned him within the organization. In his place, Jérôme de Bontin was named as the team’s new general manager.
Soler took over the Red Bulls after a disastrous 2009 season when the team finished in last place in MLS. He turned New York into the Eastern Conference champions the next year. The Red Bulls currently sit in third place in the conference with the league’s highest payroll and most star-studded lineup.
de Bontin has served as president of French club AS Monaco and also has had roles with the United States Soccer Foundation. He’s a graduate of Amherst College.
On the field, Soler rolled the dice this season with trades for Heath Pearce and Sebastian Le Toux and bringing in a big name in designated player Tim Cahill. The moves seem to have solidified the Red Bulls’ place in the postseason, but will fail to land them atop the league. Off the field, the club has been anything but a success. In August, the team’s general manager Chris Heck was fired after seeing a significant decline in season-ticket sales and attendance.
Heck reported directly to Soler.
Follow Red Bulls beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.