Anthony Hudson (football manager)

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Anthony Hudson
Russia-New Zeland (2) (cropped).jpg
Hudson as manager of New Zealand in 2017
Personal information
Full name Anthony Patrick Hudson[1]
Date of birth (1981-03-11) 11 March 1981 (age 38)[2]
Place of birth Seattle, Washington, United States
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
West Ham United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2001 West Ham United
1998Luton Town (loan)
2001 NEC Nijmegen
2006–2008 Wilmington Hammerheads 10 (0)
Teams managed
2008–2010 Real Maryland Monarchs
2011 Newport County
2011–2014 Bahrain U23
2013–2014 Bahrain
2014–2017 New Zealand U23
2014–2017 New Zealand
2017–2019 Colorado Rapids
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Anthony Patrick Hudson (born 11 March 1981) is an English-American[3] professional association football manager. Anthony Hudson served most recently as Head Coach of the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer.

Hudson became one of the youngest coaches to earn the UEFA Pro Licence, the highest coaching award in football, in 2012.[4] Hudson has managed two international teams, and won two international tournaments, qualifying for the 2015 Asian Cup and 2017 Confederations Cup in the process.[5] Hudson also became the youngest ever manager to lead a team in FIFA Confederations Cup history.[6][7]

Playing career[edit]

Hudson started playing in the youth system at Premier League club West Ham United,[8] before being loaned to Luton Town.[9] After being released by West Ham, Hudson signed a two-year deal with Dutch First Division team NEC Nijmegen[10] however after six months he asked to be released and returned home to England. He then moved to American lower division club Wilmington Hammerheads in 2006, ultimately appearing in 10 league games.[11][12][13]

Coaching career[edit]

United Soccer League[edit]

In 2005, Hudson became player-assistant head coach of USL Second Division team Wilmington Hammerheads, having spent the previous two years working as an academy coach at AC Diablos SC.

On 28 October 2008, Hudson was named as Real Maryland Monarchs head coach at the age of 27.[11] He was the youngest professional manager (head coach) in the U.S at the time.[14] In his first season as manager he led the club, which had finished bottom of the table in 2008, to fifth place and a Playoffs spot, their first visit to the post-season. Real Maryland Monarchs were knocked out in the quarter-final after a 3–1 defeat by Charlotte Eagles.[15] Hudson was also nominated for the USL Second Division 2009 Coach of the Year Award.[16]

In the 2010 USL Second Division Real Maryland Monarchs finished last,[17] having not won in their final ten games of the season.  After overcoming Reading United in the first round of the 2010 US Open Cup,[18] Real Maryland Monarchs were knocked out in the second round by Richmond Kickers.[19] Hudson left Real Maryland Monarchs at the conclusion of the 2010 season after two seasons in charge.[20][21]

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

After leaving Real Maryland following the 2010 season, Hudson returned to the United Kingdom to take up a post coaching Tottenham Hotspur's reserves.[22]

Newport County[edit]

In April 2011, Hudson, aged 30, was appointed manager of Conference Premier club Newport County with seven games remaining of their 2010–11 season.[22] He arrived with a "glittering reference"[23] from Harry Redknapp, who likened him to "a young José Mourinho".[24]

Hudson took charge of Newport County for the first time in a 2–1 home victory over Darlington.[25] A further three wins and two losses followed as Newport County finished ninth in the 2010–11 Conference Premier.[26] In July 2011, Hudson was working towards the UEFA Pro Licence with the English Football Association.[27] On 28 September 2011, with Newport having won only once in their first 12 games, Hudson was sacked,[28] despite new signing David Pipe stating "everyone is definitely behind the gaffer"[29] and senior players "contacting the press to let the fans know what the players think".[30][31][32] Following Hudson's departure, Newport Chairman Chris Blight was quoted as saying "We are a quarter of the way through the season and to be where we are, to Newport County Football Club is not what we expected or anticipated."[31]


Hudson (centre) winning U23 Gulf Cup of Nations as Bahrain manager

On 21 March 2012, Hudson was appointed manager of the Bahrain under-23 team.[33] He was brought in to coach the national under-23 and Olympic team by Peter Taylor, national team coach of Bahrain senior team. Hudson led Bahrain under-23 to the final of the 2012 U23 Gulf Cup, eventually losing 2–0 to Saudi Arabia under-23.[34] Hudson then worked under Argentinian coach Gabriel Calderon after Peter Taylor's sacking on 17 October 2012.[35] Hudson signed a two-year extension as the Bahrain under-23 manager in June.[36]

On 13 August 2013, Hudson was appointed manager of Bahrain.[37] Hudson first took charge of Bahrain in a 2–1 friendly loss to Kuwait in September[38] followed by wins over Malaysia and Yemen in November, which secured Bahrain qualification for the 2015 Asian Cup. Hudson was listed as a potential candidate as coach of Denmark in October.[39] Hudson led the Bahrain U23 team to their first title at the U23 Gulf Cup of Nations, beating Saudi Arabia in the final.[40] This was the first official gold medal the Bahrain U23 national team have won in their history.[citation needed]

In January 2014, Hudson led Bahrain to a third-place finish at the 2014 WAFF Championship.[41] After 0–0 draws against Oman and Iraq, Bahrain made the semi-finals of the tournament due to a drawing of lots. Bahrain lost their semifinal 1–0 to Jordan,[42] and earned their third-place finish via a penalty shootout after 0–0 draw against Kuwait.[43] In February 2014, Hudson signed a two-year contract extension as Bahrain manager.[44] On 27 July 2014, Hudson resigned as manager of Bahrain.[45]

New Zealand All Whites[edit]

In August 2014, Hudson was appointed manager of the New Zealand national football team.[46][47] After resigning from his position with Bahrain, Hudson moved to New Zealand for the full-time role which also includes responsibilities in overseeing the programme of the country's age-group representative sides.[46] Both New Zealand national under-20 football team and New Zealand national under-17 football team made history by making into knockout stages of their respective World Cups in the same cycle for the first time.[48][49][50][51] Hudson's first game in charge of the national team was a 3–1 defeat away to Uzbekistan in September 2014.[52]

In 2015, All Whites defeated Oman in a 1–0 victory.[53] Hudson also took the coaching reins of the New Zealand U23 who won all three of their pool games and their semi final without conceding a goal in their Oceania Olympic Qualifiers at the Pacific Games in July 2015, but were disqualified (and had their semi final win overturned) for fielding an ineligible player due to an administrative error from the national body.[54][55] This incident led to Hudson losing players for selection for his preparation for his matches against Myanmar and Oman[56] as the national body continued their detailed review of the internal processes and eligibility information for all players.[57]

In January 2016, Hudson hit out on the national body over lack of games as the national body failed to find a fixture against suitable opposition for the All Whites in the March FIFA window.[58] Hudson's squad assembled for the first time for the year in May, for a two-week training camp in Australia, ahead of the 2016 OFC Nations Cup hosted in Papua New Guinea. Despite having to change the team due to national body's "administrative error" losing players who were no longer eligible,[59] as well as a lack of matches organised from the national body, the All Whites won the 2016 OFC Nations Cup, winning four matches with the final being won via a penalty shootout after a 0–0 draw against Papua New Guinea, conceding one goal throughout the competition, from a penalty, in the process.[60] New Zealand's victory saw them crowned Oceania champions making New Zealand the most successful national team in the competition's history, having won the tournament five times, and also saw them qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.[61] In September 2016, Hudson appointed former Hull City, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, England Under-21 and stand-in England manager Peter Taylor as his assistant coach.[62] When appointed Peter Taylor praised the progress made by the All Whites under Hudson.[63]

In October 2016, after two away games against Mexico and USA (a 2–1 loss and a 1–1 draw, respectively), former All Whites' captain Ryan Nelsen said the team had gone up a level under Hudson and he had "never seen New Zealand teams play this way".[64] Hudson was also linked to the managers position at Derby County[65] and Norwich City[66][67] and reportedly turned down job for MK Dons.[68] Hudson denied that he was approached by Derby County, stating there had been "no approach or contact between him and Derby".

In March 2017, Hudson led the All Whites into the Round 3 Play-Off Final by securing top spot in Group A of the third stage of Oceania World Cup Qualifiers.[69] During the All Whites' preparation for World Cup Qualifiers against Fiji, Tommy Smith, senior player, has praised the professionalism of the national team's set-up.[70] Hudson made an inaccurate statement regarding the statistics of the All Whites records. Hudson's statement, "losing one game in two years" and "scoring 26 goals, conceding 5", was in fact including the New Zealand U23's record, games he has coached in his campaign for New Zealand, and taking the All Whites' two-year run from after their 31 March 2015 match against South Korea.[71][72]

In June 2016, Hudson lead the All Whites to 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup as the lowest ranked team, 95th at the time, in the tournament. Their first match was against the hosts Russia, where they were beaten 0-2.[73] Their second match against Mexico was a close one as they took the lead, but their efforts ended in a 1-2 loss, thus earning their early exit along with Russia.[74] Despite the exit, Portugal's manager, Fernando Santos, praised New Zealand as a "team that can surprise anyone" after their performances against Mexico.[75] In the end, New Zealand finished Group A with a third defeat to European champions Portugal.[76] In spite of this, Hudson was praised from oversea's press, including Portugal and South Korea[77] as well as from New Zealand captain Winston Reid, and player Ryan Thomas for constant "improvements" of the trainings and the environment.[78][79]

In September 2017, New Zealand won the OFC Final against Solomon Islands. The All Whites won the home-and-away tie on an aggregate score of 8-3 to win the OFC Qualifiers and qualify for the Inter-continental play-offs qualifier against the fifth-ranked nation from South America, Peru,.[80] This match represented New Zealand's first home match to be played against a "top-100 nation" in the last three and a half years,[81] unprecedented for any international team.[82][83]

In November 2017, Hudson took his team into two-legged intercontinental playoff against Peru, world's 10th ranked team at the time, for a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. After a 0-0 draw in Wellington, Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 in Lima, qualifying for the World Cup on aggregate over the two legs. Hudson later announced his resignation as All Whites coach after not qualifying for the World Cup, despite a desire from NZ Football chief executive Andy Martin for him to stay.[84][85] Following Hudson's departure, Martin described Hudson as one of the best coaches NZF has had and he would leave behind a professional standard that NZF had never had before.[86]

As part of a High Performance Sport NZ programme, Hudson also spent time with All Blacks' coaches, Steve Hansen and long-time assistant Wayne Smith, as well as Crusaders coach Scott Robertson.[87][88][89] Hudson has close relationship with Hansen as All Blacks previously shared time with him and the All Whites.[90]

Colorado Rapids[edit]

On 29 November 2017, Hudson was announced as the new coach of the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer.[91] At 36, Hudson became the youngest head coach in Colorado Rapids' history[92] as well as the youngest head coach in the 2018 MLS season.[93] In his first season in charge, Hudson led the Rapids to nine consecutive losses across all competitions,[94] including a loss to lower division United Soccer League side Nashville SC in the U.S. Open Cup.[95]

On May 1, 2019, the Rapids announced that they had relieved Hudson of his duties following comments made in the media post the Atlanta United game where he was quoted,

"We are fighting at the bottom with a bottom group of players and we have to find a way to pick up results whilst also being a team that tries to play a certain way. And we just have to find that balance.

The only way it’s going to be a quick fix is if you wave a magic wand at it and throw lots of money at it. Clearly we’re not doing that. I’ll go back to this: Every single game we go into, whether it’s Nani, whether it’s [Wayne] Rooney, whether it’s [Lucho] Acosta — every single week there are players in this league making a difference and the gap in quality is huge …

There are teams with a lot more quality than us. And that’s what we’re competing against. And no one talks about it.

Hudson comments were related to his team being the only team in the league with one marquee player, goalkeeper Tim Howard, whereas other teams had two or three marquee players.[96]

After Hudson was relieved of his duties, the Rapids named assistant coach Conor Casey as his interim replacement. Hudson ended his tenure in Denver with an 8–26–9 record.[97]


Hudson revealed that his biggest managerial influence in his career is Leeds United's current Head Coach Marcelo Bielsa. Proclaiming that 'the biggest influence on my idea and beliefs on the game has been Marcelo Bielsa. I’ve travelled far and wide to see him and learnt a great deal. A man with huge principles and an idea about the game which, at its best, brings a lot of happiness to people.'[98]

With Hudson also revealing he had visited Bielsa in his home town of Rosario to learn from him.[99]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 27 April 2019
Team From To Record Ref
G W D L Win %
Real Maryland Monarchs October 2008 2010 45 13 11 21 028.89 [100]
Newport County 1 April 2011 28 September 2011 18 5 5 8 027.78 [101]
Bahrain U23 21 March 2012 1 August 2014 10 6 2 2 060.00 [102]
Bahrain 13 August 2013 1 August 2014 12 3 6 3 025.00 [103]
New Zealand U23 1 August 2014 23 November 2017 4 3 0 1 075.00 [104]
New Zealand 1 August 2014 23 November 2017 27 9 7 11 033.33 [105]
Colorado Rapids 29 November 2017 1 May 2019 46 8 10 28 017.39 [106]
Total 162 47 41 74 029.01

Managerial achievements[edit]

Real Marylands F.C.
  • 2009 United Soccer Leagues Play-offs[16]
Bahrain national team
Bahrain U-23
New Zealand national team

Personal life[edit]

Hudson is the son of former Chelsea, Stoke City, Arsenal professional player and England International Alan Hudson.[16] Apart from his native English, Hudson also speaks Spanish.[citation needed]

During the end of his football career and the start of his management career, Hudson sought out help from Alcoholics Anonymous which aided him to quit in 2005. Hudson has been sober since and has volunteered in prisons and hospitals in the US, UK, and New Zealand, helping people with drink problems.[112]


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