October 2, 2012
Red Bulls replace Soler with de Bontin
HARRISON, N.J. – Erik Soler is out and Jerome de Bontin is in.
|Erik Soler will be an internal advisor with the Red Bulls.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
In a surprise move and announcement late Tuesday afternoon, the Red Bulls announced that de Bontin will be the Major League Soccer team's new general manager. He will replace GM and sporting director Erik Soler, who will remain as an internal advisor, according to a club press release.
Gérard Houllier, who was appointed head of Global Soccer for Red Bull this past July, will oversee all sporting aspects of the Red Bulls.
It was the second major firing by the Red Bulls, who let go Chris Heck as president of business operations on Aug. 7.
Given the Red Bulls sweeping broom of late, you have to wonder about the future of Red Bulls coach Hans Backe, especially if the club fails to reach MLS Cup. He was hired by Soler in January, 2011.
Soler joined the Red Bulls prior to the 2010 as a high spender with the European clubs he had managed. He went over-budget several times -- on player salaries and other expenses -- a strategy he followed with the MLS club as well.
De Bontin has a long career in soccer, serving as president of French Club AS Monaco from early 2008 to the spring of 2009. He has served as a board member of the Monegasque team for seven years and also as a member of the board, chair of the development committee and member of the investment committee of the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
De Bontin also served on the U.S. Soccer Federation task force on player development and is the current Chairman of the Rush Soccer Organization.
A graduate of Amherst College (Mass.), de Bontin is the director of Sustainability Investments LLC and Mekar Financial Services.