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  • Anthony Hudson

    Kirill Kudryavtsev, AFP/Getty Images

    This file photo taken on June 17, 2017 shows New Zealand's English coach Anthony Hudson looking on during the start of the 2017 Confederations Cup group A football match between Russia and New Zealand at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint-Petersburg.

  • (FILES) This file photo taken on ...

    Marty Melville, AFP/Getty Images

    (FILES) This file photo taken on Nov. 11, 2017 shows New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson walking from the field at half-time during the World Cup football qualifying match between New Zealand and Peru at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson announced his resignation on November 23, 2017 in the wake of the All Whites' failure to reach next year's World Cup. Hudson's men fell at the last qualification hurdle when Peru beat them 2-0 in Lima last week to seal victory in a two-legged intercontinental play-off for a spot at next year's tournament in Russia.

  • (FILES) This file photo taken on ...

    Kirill Kudryavtsev, AFP/Getty Images

    (FILES) This file photo taken on June 24, 2017 shows New Zealand's English coach Anthony Hudson looking on during the 2017 Confederations Cup group A football match between New Zealand and Portugal at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg. New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson announced his resignation on Nov. 23, 2017 in the wake of the All Whites' failure to reach next year's World Cup. Hudson's men fell at the last qualification hurdle when Peru beat them 2-0 in Lima last week to seal victory in a two-legged intercontinental play-off for a spot at next year's tournament in Russia.

  • New Zealand's coach Anthony Hudson (R) ...

    Luka Gonzales, AFP/Getty Images

    New Zealand's coach Anthony Hudson (R) gestures during the 2018 World Cup qualifying play-off second leg football match against Peru, in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 15, 2017.

  • All Whites coach Anthony Hudson leaves ...

    Marty Melville, AFP/Getty Images

    All Whites coach Anthony Hudson leaves after speaking to the media during a media and training session at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand on Nov. 10, 2017. New Zealand play Peru on November 11, 2017 in Wellington and will be the first of two World Cup qualifying games against Peru.

  • New Zealand's antional soccer team coach ...

    Ernesto Benavides, AFP/Getty Images

    New Zealand's antional soccer team coach Anthony Hudson, speaks during a press conference in Lima on Nov. 14, 2017 on the eve of the 2018 World Cup qualifying play-off second leg match against Peru.

  • Head Coach Anthony Hudson of New ...

    Anthony Au-Yeung, Getty Images

    Head Coach Anthony Hudson of New Zealand looks on prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between the New Zealand All Whites and Solomon Island at North Harbour Stadium on Sept. 1, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Anthony Hudson is the new head coach of the Colorado Rapids, the club announced Wednesday.

The 36-year-old resigned his position as manager of the New Zealand national team last week after it fell just short of qualifying for the World Cup following a 2-0 loss to Peru in Lima. The All Whites were 9-11-7 under Hudson during his three-year tenure.

“It’s an exciting moment and a wonderful opportunity,” Hudson said in a news release announcing his hire. “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 will be introduced at a news conference at 11 a.m. Thursday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

He takes over a Rapids club that finished next-to-last in the Western Conference last season (9-19-6, 32 points), tied for the fewest goals scored in Major League Soccer (31).

The Rapids had been linked to Hudson for weeks amid what the team called a comprehensive global search for a manager who fits the attack-minded style the team aspires to play.

“This is a very special moment for the Rapids,” Padraig Smith, the club’s sporting director and interim general manager, said in the release. “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.”

Hudson, the son of former English midfielder Alan Hudson, was born in Seattle and began his coaching career in the U.S. as a player and assistant coach for the third-division Wilmington Hammerheads in 2008.

A two-year stint at third-tier Real Maryland came next, followed by overseas gigs with Tottenham Hotspur’s reserves, fourth-division Newport County in Wales and Bahrain’s under-23 and senior national teams.

Smith this month said the new coach will have a clear vision for executing the team’s philosophy. The new hire is part of a massive offseason overhaul that will include three new front-office hires and up to 11 new players. The Rapids last week added attacking midfielder Johan Blomberg, the first of those new players, and this week announced they were parting ways with eight players from the 2017 roster.

“What we’re trying to do is leave an indelible mark on this franchise and to really put in place a philosophy and a vision that will last long after we’ve gone and that’s something when people think of the Rapids, they think of this urgent, attacking, intense style of play,” Smith told The Denver Post earlier this month. “They think of teams that go out and try to win every game. Teams that play with attacking intent that are willing to take risks in the right area of the field and are always, always looking to win.”

New Zealand’s style of play under Hudson was in stark contrast of the defensive-minded brand the Rapids played under former coach Pablo Mastroeni, who was fired by the Rapids on Aug. 15.

“We’ve always been brave, we’ve always been positive,” Hudson told The Washington Post in early November, “We’ve never, ever gone away and sat back and defended and tried to sneak a draw.”

Hudson will need to get right to work, as the Rapids have a busy offseason ahead — two rounds of re-entry drafts, the waiver draft, the L.A. FC expansion draft and the MLS SuperDraft — followed by the club’s first appearance in CONCACAF Champions League since 2011.

Smith said the club is going into the CONCACAF Champions League with the goal of winning the tournament.

“It does put additional pressure on because obviously the first games are going to take place in late February,” Smith said. “So under the CBA (collective bargaining agreement), we can only get back to preseason training on Jan. 22nd, so it’s a tight turnaround in terms of preparation for that.”

Smith said the club plans to “take a different approach to preseason this year.”

“We’re going to go very early in preseason into a really detailed an dedicated camp,” Smith said. “And all the players are going to come in. Lots of two-a-days, lots of three-a-days, eventually, where the players will really be immersed in the new head coach’s style, and formation, structure, et cetera, et cetera. And that’s a crucial part of the new coach coming in and implementing his vision.”

The SuperDraft is scheduled for Jan. 19, and the Rapids will begin their training camp in Denver on Jan. 22. The team will then head to Casa Grande, Ariz., for their deeper, immersive camp beginning Jan. 24. Smith said the club also plans to participate in the Desert Diamond Cup tournament in Tucson, Ariz., in mid February, but may need to field split squads for some games, depending on the Champions League draw.

“Going into the Champions League will give the players a real shot in the arm very early on in the season,” Smith said. “We hope that’s something that can help us hit the ground running in 2018.”


Anthony Hudson at a glance

Born: Seattle
Age: 36
Notable: Is the youngest ever manager to lead a team to the Confederations Cup (New Zealand, 2017) and is two years younger than Rapids’ star goalkeeper Tim Howard (38).

Past coaching experience:

Years Team Wins Losses Draws
2008-10 Real Maryland Monarchs 13 21 11
2011 Newport County A.F.C. (Wales) 5 8 5
2012-14 Bahrain U-23 6 2 2
2013-14 Bahrain 3 3 6
2014-17 New Zealand U-23 3 1 0
2014-17 New Zealand 9 11 7
Totals   39 46 31

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