COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (May 1, 2019) – The Colorado Rapids have fired Head Coach Anthony Hudson. He managed the middling MLS club for just 42 league games, winning just 8 of them. Colorado are bottom of the Supporters’ Shield Standings this season with just two points. Assistant Coach and former Rapids player Conor Casey will serve as interim manager.
Hudson Out: Colorado Rapids Sack Second Year Manager Anthony Hudson
Last season was arguably the most disappointing in club history. Hudson came in with big ideas for how to change and rebuild the club. General Manager Padraig Smith’s vision of The Rapids Way brought promise and expectations. The team brought in a lot of foreign players. They spent a bunch of money. The promptly finished second-to-last in the Western Conference.
Individual and collective defensive breakdowns led to conceding goals. The 3-5-2 formation never got off the ground. The offense was a mess as Hudson appeared to have significant issues with Stefan Aigner and Yannick Boli. A mid-season switch to a 4-4-2 diamond yielding some results as did a trade for Kellyn Acosta.
The team still lacked attacking options by the end of the year. The foreign players who came in also needed to make improvements going into their second year in MLS.
Hudson and Smith brought in a bunch of attacking players in the off-season, overhauling the striker core. They did so without giving up a bunch of assets. Most of these players were proven MLS veterans. The offense has been ok this year, good at times. For all the improvements in the final third, the defense has regressed in 2019. Deklan Wynne and Danny Wilson are clearly unreliable bench players at best in MLS. Tommy Smith and Kofi Opare aren’t much better.
Hudson started being more critical of his defenders in recent weeks. It’s clear he just didn’t have four healthy and competent defenders to get results in MLS. While he’s complained about this, the fact remains that most of this squad are players who’ve come in since he took the job. Just two defenders on the roster were here before he was hired. This was his and Padraig Smith’s team. Most of these signings have been disappointments. Few if any foreign players have lived up to their contract value.
All this happened while the Rapids had an aging goalkeeper and a waived injured attacker as their only Designated Players. Hudson seemed unable to get this group to be remotely function in MLS. Their ceiling was just above ground level, at best. And even if he was working with a woefully undermanned squad, he was a part of the team that assembled this group.
It’s clear something had to change if the club had any hope of not finishing last in MLS this year. That usually means the coach falls on the sword, whether it’s all his fault or not.
This club was mid-table in spending last year. Stan Kronke can’t be blamed for bad signings and poor team management. That’s on Smith and Hudson. And now that Smith has fired the coach he spend two months looking for, the future of the club and whether it gets out of this hole are on him.
This hire and this plan failed spectacularly. Hudson deserves a serving of the blame pie in this. So do others in the organization. With how much publicly Smith and Hudson appeared to be in lockstep, one has to ask if that was the case and if Smith has learned from the mistakes of the last two years. If he hasn’t, this club isn’t going anywhere with him as General Manager.