Rapids tab Anthony Hudson as manager

Oct 8, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; New Zealand head coach Anthony Hudson in the second half against Mexico at Nissan Stadium. Mexico won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids signed Anthony Hudson to a three-year deal to take over as manager, replacing interim manager Steve Cooke.

Hudson, 36, joins Major League Soccer after guiding the New Zealand national team to an Intercontinental Playoff appearance against Peru earlier this month. The All Whites fell 2-0 on aggregate, just short of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. In just over three years as head coach of New Zealand, Hudson helped the All Whites win the 2016 OFC Nations Cup championship, while posting a 9-11-7 record along the way – including a 1-1 draw with the United States at RFK Stadium in October of 2016.

“It’s an exciting moment and a wonderful opportunity,” said Hudson. “From the start, I was impressed by the club’s culture, front office and vision for the future. I believe we share a philosophy, and now it’s just a matter of going out and getting the results that both this club and community deserve. ”

Hudson began his managerial career in 2008 when he took over the reins of third-tier Real Maryland Monarchs at the age of 27. After a two-year spell with the club, he returned to England, where he would work under Harry Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur as a reserve team coach, before taking over English fifth-tier side Newport County in 2011.

The Seattle, Washington native would then serve as head coach of the Bahrain U-23 and senior national teams from 2012-14. He led the U-23s to their first-ever major trophy at the U-23 Gulf Cup of Nations in 2013, before helping the senior side finish third at the 2013-14 West Asian Football Federation Championship.

As a player, Hudson came up through the youth ranks at West Ham United before joining Dutch side NEC Nijmegen in 2001. He would finish his playing career as player-assistant with the Wilmington Hammerheads from 2006-08.

“This is a very special moment for the Rapids,” said interim general manager Pádraig Smith. “In Anthony, 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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