Ray Hudson joins CBS Sports crew for UEFA Champions League broadcasts

As a boy growing up in Newcastle, England, Ray Hudson enjoyed only two things about school. Playing on its soccer team and English class.

The 67-year-old, who just joined CBS Sports' broadcast team for UEFA Champions League coverage, has made good use of those school experiences.

His English teacher, Sally Herdman, "got me into not just the English language but the different modes of expression," said the man who once described a player as "competitive as a hungry tiger, yet he's got the sensibility of a village priest."

Herdman's class inspired Hudson to join the school theater, where he nailed the role of the lion-friendly Androcles in his debut. Hudson thrived on stage but, he said in a 2005 Soccer America interview, knew "I wasn't going to be a thespian."

On the field, he proved a crafty midfielder and after starting his pro career with Newcastle United at age 22 moved to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, where his teammates included the likes of Teofilo Cubillas, Gerd Mueller and Gordon Banks. Hudson became a five-time NASL all-star.

Hudson remained in the USA after retiring in 1990. He co-owned a swimming pool maintenance company, coached some youth soccer, and did TV for the Miami Fusion when the MLS club offered the head coaching job in 2000.

"I coached an under-6 girls team," he said at the time. "The difference is when a fire engine goes by Eric Wynalda doesn't stop playing to watch it."

He guided the Fusion to the best MLS regular-season record and semifinals in 2001, its last season before MLS pulled the plug on the Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny. After coaching D.C. United in 2002-04, Hudson returned to TV. "Coaching was so stressful," he said. "I don't miss it one bit."

Hudson did color commentary for MLS clubs, for Gol TV, and for nearly a decade teamed up with play-by-play man Phil Schoen calling Spanish LaLiga games for beIN Sports ("You could drop a tarantula down Messi's shorts and he’d still be super cool.”) until he left a year ago following LaLiga's move from beIN Sports to ESPN.

Hudson starts his new chapter alongside play-by-play Andrés Cordero for next week's Juventus-Paris St. Germain game. Leaving the CBS crew are Peter Drury (now exclusively at NBC) and Jim Beglin.

CBS Sports/Paramount+ broadcaster team.

6 comments about "Ray Hudson joins CBS Sports crew for UEFA Champions League broadcasts".
  1. Bill Dooley, September 2, 2022 at 11:20 a.m.

    Magisterial. I was so afraid he'd get hired for the upcoming World Cup games, whiuch would have tested my resolve not to watch a. single moment from Qatar.

  2. John Polis, September 2, 2022 at 11:29 a.m.

    Ray Hudson is one of the most colorful (and knowledgeable) soccer media-type personalities in the United States. And he's also an ex-player. And while we have plenty of ex-players in media, but none of them are as entertaining while still being an expert on the game. Ray is as down-to-earth on-air as he is off. Having watched Ray's career and had some occasional contact with him through the years, I couldn't be more happy for him moving to CBS, which I believe will be his biggest-ever media platform. The fans who tune in will be the beneficiaries. All the best, Ray. 

  3. ARISTIDES SASTRE, September 2, 2022 at 12:28 p.m.

    Loved watching him play for the Strikers and even more love listening to his television broadcasts.  He can take a boring game and make it exciting with his play on words.  He is truly unique.

  4. Rookie NY, September 3, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

    Ray Hudson was the cherry on top of watching Barcelona during the glory days of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi. 

  5. humble 1, September 5, 2022 at 6:40 p.m.

    I listen to Rocky not on broadcasts, but on satetlite radio.  Great story teller and with many stories to tell.  Master of the idiosyncracies of the English language and in his singular Geordie style. Nothing like Rocky v Graeme Baily who is from rival town Middlebrough.  Their verbal battles, maybe, show where he got the nickname, Rocky. 

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, September 6, 2022 at 11:50 a.m.

    Never Realized he was a Geordie... I can altually Understand him, Most of the Geordie's i know, i cant Understand a word of them.!!! .... He only played 25 games for Newcastle over 3 years... didn't realize that either... But, he is a Gift to the Viewing Audience, keep it up Ray.!!! 

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