MLS: Miami hires Hudson through end of the season

Ray Hudson inspired Miami to three straight wins and, today, inspired the Fusion to make him the head coach through the end of the season. Hudson replaced Ivo Wortmann, who was fired on May 8. Eric Eichmann, who joined the coaching staff with Hudson, will continue to serve as an assistant coach. "Ray has provided a magical spark that has turned our team into an attractive side that is now positioned atop the Eastern Division and an early contender for a run at the MLS Cup," said Fusion vice president and general manager Doug Hamilton. "The players and fans have responded to his enthusiastic style and we see no reason to make a change." According to Hamilton, Hudson's position with the club will be revisited at the end of the season. For the past two and one-half seasons, the animated Hudson has gained fame as the Fusion's television color analyst on Sunshine Network and host of the team's post-game radio show on WAXY 790 AM. At the end of last season he joined the Fusion front office as community outreach manager. "Ray will continue to be an integral part of our organization for years to come, but we felt it was mutually important to allow ourselves an opportunity to evaluate the direction of Ray's future with the club once things slow down at the end of the season," said Hamilton. As a player, Hudson was a five-time NASL all-star for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, leading the club to the Soccer Bowl in 1980. The English midfielder began his playing career at Newcastle United of the English Premier League at the age of 17. Hudson, 45, more recently served as director of coaching for several youth soccer organizations. "I'm absolutely elated," said Hudson. "I'm ecstatic over the response of the boys who have really put me in this position. All the credit in the world belongs in one place -- with those players down on the field on game day. I will thank them all individually because without them and these incredible performances, I wouldn't be offered this situation." The Fusion (4-3-4, 16 points) currently sits on top of the Eastern Division, tied with the New England Revolution (4-3-4, 16 points).
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