A day before the Red Bulls kick off their 2022 campaign, they lost their man in charge.
Kevin Thelwell, who has served as the club’s head of sport since 2020, stepped down Friday to become director of football for Everton in the Premier League.
“On behalf of the organization, we would like to thank Kevin for his contributions and efforts to the club over the last two years,” Red Bulls General Manager Marc de Grandpré said in a statement. “We wish Kevin all the best, both personally and professionally, in his new endeavor.”
Thelwell took over the Red Bulls after 14 years working for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. He played a major role steering the club’s rapid rise from League One, to the Championship, to the Premier League to competing for European competition.
In his two seasons in Harrison, N.J, Thelwell led the Red Bulls to back-to-back playoff appearances. The 48-year-old also added top talent to the club, most notably Caden Clark and recently, Luquinhas, and delivered on his stellar reputation for developing young talent.
The Red Bulls announced that they will begin a search to fill Thelwell’s former position.
“My family and I have loved every minute of working in the U.S. and in particular for the New York Red Bulls,” Thelwell said in a statement. “It has been an incredible period that I will cherish and feel that I am a much better head of sport for the experience. I feel I leave the shirt in a much stronger place than when I joined. The roster has been completely rebuilt; there is a clear sporting vision now in place as part of a strategic five-year plan; and the pipeline of young talent is now stronger than ever.”
Everton sit in 16th place in the Premier League and have recently-appointed Frank Lampard as their new manager, replacing Rafa Benitez’s miserable six-month tenure in charge. They currently have 22 points, just two points above the relegation zone.
“The Owner, the Chairman and the CEO all presented compelling reasons for me to join this great club and I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with them all and to move Everton forward,” Thelwell said in a statement to Everton. “I can’t wait to get started.”