The Colorado Rapids have fired manager Anthony Hudson, with assistant coach Conor Casey taking over on an interim basis, the club announced on Wednesday.
"We appreciate Anthony's commitment to the Rapids organization during his time with the club," said Rapids executive vice president & GM, Padraig Smith "This is a pivotal period in the development of our team and it's in the club's best interest to make a change now. We still have a lot of season left and we look forward to getting back on track."
With a record of 0-7-2, the Rapids are the only winless team in the league. This follows on from an 11th place finish in the 12-team Western Conference last season. The Rapids attempted to retool their offense during the offseason, bringing in the likes of midfielder Benny Feilhaber and forwards Diego Rubio and Kei Kamara, but the results have been poor, with the Rapids conceding a league-worst 24 goals in nine matches.
But what sealed Hudson's fate was a postmatch interview he gave following last weekend's 1-0 road defeat to Atlanta United, in which he pointed out the shortcomings of the Rapids' roster.
"Today was just another example of the real gulf in class," Hudson said. "I think every single game we're playing against teams and their DPs are making a difference. People think we are on the same level, we're not."
Hudson added: "If this was a promotion-and-relegation league, we'd have been relegated by now."
Hudson joined the Rapids following the 2017 campaign after a three-year stint as manager of the New Zealand men's national team, though his only prior experience managing at club level had been with American fourth-tier side Real Maryland Monarchs, and English non-league side Newport County. Hudson's overall record with Colorado was 8-27-9.
It will now be up to Casey, a former Rapids and U.S. international forward, to get the team back on track. He has been an assistant with Colorado for parts of the last three seasons.
Casey's playing career spanned 17 seasons, beginning in Germany with the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Hannover 96, Karlsruher and Mainz 05. The remainder of his career was spent in MLS, six years of which were with Colorado, including a run to the 2010 MLS Cup title. He also spent time with Toronto FC, the Philadelphia Union and the Columbus Crew.
At international level, Casey made 19 appearances with the U.S. national team, scoring two goals.