Ali Curtis

Ali Curtis, MLS NEXT Pro SVP of Competition & Operations, has added another milestone to his remarkable soccer career. On Friday, December 9, Curtis was one of eight individuals to be inducted into the Duke University Athletics Hall of Fame. He was joined by fellow inductees Alana Beard (women's basketball), Amanda Blumenherst (women's golf), Carlos Boozer (men's basketball), Kevin Cassese (men's lacrosse), Anthony Dilweg (football), Gail Goestenkors (women's basketball), and Jacki Silar (administrator and coach). There are currently 146 members in the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame, dating back to the inaugural ceremony in 1975. Voting is conducted by the Hall's enshrinees along with members of the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame committee.

One of the all-time men's soccer greats, Curtis is one of only two players in program history to win both the Hermann Trophy and Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year before their merger in 2002. A two-time All-American and 1999 ACC Player of the Year, Curtis is the program's all-time leader in goals scored (53) and ranks second at Duke and 15th in the ACC in points (134). A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Curtis helped lead Duke to three NCAA Tournament appearances and the first ACC Tournament Championship in program history in 1999. A four-time All-ACC selection, Curtis' 17 goals in 1999 still ranks tied for the most in a single season in Blue Devil history. He helped lead Duke to 64 wins over a four-year stretch.

Ali Curtis Duke HOF Induction Speech - Courtesy: Blue Devil Network

After graduating from Duke, Curtis was selected second in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft by Tampa Bay. He went on to play in MLS from 2001 to 2004 with three teams, Tampa Bay, D.C. United and Dallas.

Following his playing career, Curtis was an analyst at JP Morgan in Chicago and Los Angeles before joining the MLS league office from 2007-2014, serving most of his time as the Senior Director of Player Relations and Competition Department.

Curtis went on to be Sporting Director for New York Red Bulls. When he was hired in 2014, Curtis became the first African-American general manager in MLS history. Under his leadership, Red Bulls won the 2015 Supporters’ Shield, achieved back-to-back first place finishes in the Eastern Conference and advanced to the 2017 quarterfinal stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. Curtis also oversaw the creation of USL side New York Red Bulls II, who won the 2016 USL Shield and USL Cup.

He served as General Manager for Toronto FC from 2019 to 2021. During his time in Toronto, the club won the Eastern Conference Championship and advanced to MLS Cup in in 2019. Additionally, in 2020, the club finished with the second-best record in the regular season and top signing, Alejandro Pozuelo, won the MLS MVP Award.

Curtis was named Senior Vice President of Competition & Operations for MLS NEXT Pro in December 2021. In his role he oversees multiple areas including competition, medical, security, operations and player relations.