D.C. United hires Ray Hudson as coach

Hours after MLS announced the folding of the Miami Fusion, its coach, Ray Hudson, was named coach of D.C. United. Hudson replaces Thomas Rongen, whose contract was not renewed after the 2001 season marked his second consecutive failure to take D.C. United to the playoffs. Hudson compiled a 16-5-5 regular-season record with the Fusion last season before falling to San Jose at the semifinal stage of the playoffs. He joined Miami nine games into the 2000 season and has a career record of 27-17-6. United also announced the re-signing of Curt Onalfo as assistant coach and that former goalkeeper Mark Simpson will retire and join the technical staff as the goalkeeping coach. "We're excited to have Ray join D.C. United as the new head coach," said Kevin Payne, Anschutz Entertainment Group senior vice president, managing director of soccer operations. "He has an enormous enthusiasm for the game and appreciates and respects the tradition that has already been established here at United. I am confident that our team and Ray Hudson will prove to be a great marriage and that we can all look forward to an exciting and winning style of play." "It's an immense honor to be given this opportunity with the most storied soccer team in the United States," said Hudson. "I'm salivating to work with such a talented group of players before the league's greatest fans. I'm relishing this challenge, and it is my intention to help bring United back to the pinnacle of soccer where it belongs." At the age of 17, Hudson began his professional playing career with Newcastle United of the English Premier League. He made 40 appearances for the club from 1973-77 before signing with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL. The five-time All-Star midfielder led the Strikers to the 1980 Soccer Bowl. He continued to be a fixture on the American soccer scene until his 1992 retirement.
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