Colorado hires New Zealand national team coach Anthony Hudson as its new head coach

The Colorado Rapids have named New Zealand national team coach Anthony Hudson, the son of former English star Alan Hudson, as their new head coach. At 36, Anthony Hudson will be the youngest head coach in MLS next season.

2017 MLS coaching changes:
Real Salt Lake: Jeff Cassar --> Mike Petke.
San Jose: Dominic Kinnear --> Chris Leitch --> Mikael Stahre.
LA Galaxy: Curt Onalfo -- Sigi Schmid.
Colorado: Pablo Mastroeni --> Anthony Hudson.
New England: Jay Heaps --> Brad Friedel.
Montreal: Mauro Biello --> Remi Garde.
Portland: Caleb Porter -- > ?.

Hudson takes over for Pablo Mastroeni, who was fired midway through his fourth season as head coach. The Rapids made the Western Conference final in 2016 but slumped to 10th place in the Western Conference in 2017. Steve Cooke served as the interim coach after Mastroeni was fired in August. The Rapids only managed to scored 31 goals, marking the third season in a row they failed to score as many as 40 goals.

Because of their success in 2016, Colorado will play in the 2018 Concacaf Champions League. It is the No. 9 seed in the 16-team field. The draw will be held on Dec. 18.

Hudson led New Zealand to the 2016 OFC Nations Cup championship and then became the youngest ever coach a team at the Confederations Cup, where the All Whites played in 2017. He became available after New Zealand lost to Peru in a playoff for the 2018 World Cup.

Hudson was born in Seattle, where his father was playing in the NASL, but raised in England. After a short career in England and the Netherlands, Hudson moved to the United States to play briefly for the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Second Division. He served as an assistant coach with the Hammerheads and at 27 took over as the head coach of the Real Maryland Monarchs, also in the USL Second Division, in 2008.

He coached English fifth-tier club Newport County in 2011 before moving to Bahrain, where he coached for four years.
“In Anthony," Rapids sporting director and interim general manager Padraig Smith said, "we believe we’ve hired one of the most promising young talents and we’re extremely grateful for the support shown by the Kroenke family and the KSE executive team who remain committed to our goal of bringing another MLS Cup to Colorado.”

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