Former All Whites coach Anthony Hudson goes into the dugout on Wednesday for what’s potentially the most important game of his career.
Hudson (41) is assistant coach for the United States team who play Iran in their final pool game on Wednesday morning, while England meet Wales at the same time.
Victory will take the United States into the knockout round of 16 while England need to win, draw or not lose by more than four goals to go forward.
Born in Seattle, Hudson grew up in the north-west of England, the son of former England international Alan Hudson.
Till now, his biggest challenge as a coach was leading New Zealand against Peru in the intercontinental play-offs to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After the loss to Peru, Hudson moved to the United States to join the Colorado Rapids, and in 2020, he became the coach of the national U-20 squad. He was then brought into head coach Gregg Berhalter’s team to work with the senior squad as an assistant coach.
Main photo: Anthony Hudson … will be in the dugout for Wednesday’s crucial World Cup match between the United States and Iran. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Hudson’s passions include prison visits and rescue dogs
The World Cup attention on the United States team has raised Hudson’s profile and drawn media interest to his off-the-pitch work with prisons and dogs.
Hudson is open about his decision in 2005 to overcome an addiction to alcohol and he says prison visits have given him a way to “give back”.
In an interview with the BBC, Hudson says: “Every single time you walk in there and hear the steel doors and recognise the strictness and formalities of the doors slamming and the register being taken, it is a reminder of what a very tough environment you are in.”
He is the founder and chairman of the Forgotten Dogs Foundation, which links with his prison visits.
“I am a huge dog lover and wanted to set up a shelter but because of my job I had not been able to,” he said. “This is in a special part of the wing in the prison.
“People who love dogs can go in and work with the bigger, more aggressive dogs that no-one wants to rescue and are going to get euthanised. There is a full-time trainer who trains the inmates to teach the dogs. The dogs stay with the inmates 24/7.”
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Games to be played on Wednesday November 30, 2022
Iran v USA
Al Thumama Stadium, Al Thumama, 8am (NZT)
Wales v England
Al Rayyan Stadium, Ar-Rayyan, 8am (NZT)