Major changes are coming to Toronto FC.
Multiple sources told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday that GM Tim Bezbatchenko will soon leave the club to join Columbus Crew SC as club president. He'll be responsible for both the business and sporting sides of the organization. The sources said that TFC are in advanced discussions with former New York Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis to come on as Bezbatchenko’s replacement.
The Columbus Dispatch’s Michael Arace reported last Friday that Bezbatchenko, who is from the Columbus area, would join Crew SC. A Crew SC spokesperson did not comment on the specifics of the report when reached on Wednesday, but told MLSsoccer.com in a written statement that "more details on senior leadership positions with Crew SC will be provided here in early January."
Hired by TFC in September 2013, Bezbatchenko was instrumental in the club’s transformation from MLS laughing stock to league power. The 37-year-old signed Designated Players Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore and assembled the rosters that won the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship treble in 2017 and came within a shootout of becoming the first MLS side to win the Concacaf Champions League in 2018. He’ll be joining Caleb Porter at Crew SC, who according to sources and multiple reports, will be the club's head coach. MLS announced last Friday that an agreement in principle has been reached with the Haslam and Edwards families to become MLS owners and take over operating rights of Columbus Crew SC beginning in January 2019.
Curtis, 40, served as Red Bulls sporting director from December 2014 until shortly before the start of the 2017 season. During his time in New York, Curtis hired Jesse Marsch as head coach and built a roster that won the 2015 Supporters’ Shield. A longtime league executive prior to his move to the Red Bulls, he hasn’t held a MLS job since he left New York.