HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls have named Kevin Thelwell their head of sport, the Major League Soccer club announced on Monday.
Thelwell, 46, joins New York from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC of the English Premier League in a newly created role with the club.
In that new role, Thelwell will have oversight on all aspects of the sporting side of the club. Sporting director Denis Hamlett will remain in charge of day-to-day soccer operations and report to Thelwell.
“On behalf of everyone at the organization, I’d like to welcome Kevin to our club,” Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre said in a statement. “Kevin has a tremendous resume and demonstrated experience helping a club attain new levels of success with Wolverhampton. He is well respected within the international soccer community and fits well within our culture. This is a welcome addition as we continue our pursuit of delivering the MLS Cup to our fans.”
Thelwell was appointed sporting director of Wolves in the summer of 2016 after three years as head of football development and recruitment. In both roles he oversaw all football-related matters at the club. During Thelwell’s tenure, Wolves went from England’s third tier in 2013-14, to winning the Championship in 2017-18 and earning promotion to the EPL.
During their first Premier League season, Wolves finished seventh, qualifying for a return to European competition this season with a spot in the Europa League. Wolves sit in eighth in the Premier League, level with Manchester United and six points out of a top four spot.
“I am both honored and excited to join the New York Red Bulls,” said Thelwell. “When this opportunity presented itself, I was given the chance to meet people within the organization to learn more about the club and soon realized that this was the right place for me. I look forward to the opportunity to work in Major League Soccer and continue the club’s pursuit of competing for MLS Cup.”
Thelwell has helped build a Wolves team that includes Mexico national team standout Raul Jimenez and Portuguese international João Moutinho. He also brought in young talents such as Pedro Neto and Adama Traore. In August 2019, Thelwell was appointed to Wolverhampton’s board for his contributions to the club’s success.
Prior to being named head of football development and recruitment, Thelwell was the manager of Wolves’ academy for six years, helping it attain Category One status in 2012. He holds a UEFA Pro License, the highest coaching qualification in European football, and also served for four years as director of coaching education for the Football Association of Wales.