Since jumping from the broadcast booth to the sidelines on May 8, Miami Fusion coach Ray Hudson has gone 3-2, ditched his interim label and brought new life to a moribund franchise. We spoke with the colorful English transplant, a former star with the NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Q: So, are you still "higher than a hippie at Woodstock," as you said after your first win?
A: Higher and higher. I'm like a helium balloon drifting onward and upward. But it's these boys who have responded. Their hearts have been the size of pigs! Hercules wouldn't hold a candle to these guys!
Q: Tell me one of your favorite NASL stories.
A: One time we got a bag, filled it full of dog crap and put it in our coach's car, right under the passenger seat. This was not a popular coach [Eckhard Krautzun]. This was in South Florida, in the height of summer, and it wasn't until three or four days went by before he started to complain, "I have a funny smell in my car, but I don't know what it is." We were struggling to put our boots on because we were quaking with laughter.
Q: MLS needs more fun guys like you, Ray.
A: Soccer around the world is serious business, but it's still entertainment—it's live theater. Any wacko characters like me can only light the theater up.
Q: Sounds like none of your players in Miami will be putting dog crap in your car anytime soon.
A: I'm sure with this bunch of pirates, it won't be too long before they're pulling those sorts of pranks.