His hiring was the direct result of Red Bull appointing Houllier as Head of Global Soccer for all the teams.
"Gerard and I are old-time friends," de Bontin told reporters. "I had tried to hire him as a coach in Monaco. That didn't work out [but] as he thought about what to do in New York, he knew of my experience and the things that I've done with the federation and foundation of youth soccer and so on.
"He approached me at the end of July," he added. "It took a month; eventually he brought me into Salzburg to meet with the head office and [Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz] and what really got me excited was the commitment, that clearly Red Bull wants to be in soccer the way they have demonstrated their ability in Formula 1. They want to be first, they want to win and they're willing to commit the resources and the time."