Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep, citing multiple unnamed sources, reported on Friday afternoon that the Rapids are close to hiring current New Zealand national team manager Anthony Hudson as the eighth full-time head coach in team history.
Galarcep adds that it is unclear when Hudson would take over as Rapids coach, or if his appointment is contingent on New Zealand missing out on the World Cup. Hudson is currently preparing the Kiwis for a two-legged intercontinental playoff against Peru for a spot at Russia 2018, with the first leg set to take place on Nov. 11 in Wellington before the two teams play the return leg in the South American nation on Nov. 15.
Hudson, 36, was born in the United States when his father, former Chelsea standout Alan Hudson, was playing for the Seattle Sounders in the old NASL. The younger Hudson was raised in England and had a brief playing career there and in the Netherlands before joining the USL’s Wilmington Hammerheads as a player-assistant coach in 2006. His first head coaching job was at the Real Maryland Monarchs from 2008-2010 while they played in the USL Second Divsion. He also coached the Tottenham reserves, English fifth-tier club Newport County and the Bahrain national team before taking the reins with New Zealand in 2014.
The Rapids are coming off a 9-19-6 season that saw them finish 10th out of 11 teams in the Western Conference. They parted ways with club legend Pablo Mastroeni after three-and-a-half years on Aug. 15. Mastroeni was replaced by interim head coach Steve Cooke, who led the Rapids to a 3-7-2 finish to the season. Per Galarcep’s sources, the Rapids plan to keep the same technical staff – including Cooke and assistant Conor Casey – in place under Hudson.
The report also claimed that the Rapids considered a number of familiar American candidates to fill the head coaching vacancy, including US Under-17 national team head coach John Hackworth, Columbus Crew SC assistant Josh Wolff and Stanford University head coach Jeremy Gunn.