For­mer US soc­cer de­fender Fer­nando Clav­ijo dies at 63

Porterville Recorder - - RECORD -

FRISCO, Texas — Fer­nando Clav­ijo, a sur­prise starter for the 1994 U.S. World Cup team who went on to a long coach­ing and man­age­ment ca­reer in Ma­jor League Soc­cer, has died. He was 63.

FC Dal­las said he died Fri­day at his home in Fort Laud­erdale, Florida, from mul­ti­ple myeloma. Clav­ijo was the team's tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor from March 2002 un­til he stepped down last Septem­ber be­cause of his health.

In­ducted into the U.S. Na­tional Soc­cer Hall of Fame in 2005, Clav­ijo made 61 ap­pear­ances for the U.S. na­tional team from 1990-94, mostly as a de­fender.

"Fer­nando was an im­por­tant leader with three MLS clubs, and he played a key role in the league's player de­vel­op­ment strat­egy," MLS Com­mis­sioner Don Gar­ber said in a state­ment Satur­day. "More im­por­tantly, he was a joy to ev­ery­one who knew him and in­spired count­less young play­ers."

An emerg­ing player in the fi­nal years of the North Amer­i­can Soc­cer League, Clav­ijo was part of the gen­er­a­tion ham­pered by the lack of the top-level Amer­i­can league be­tween NASL'S demise af­ter the 1984 sea­son and MLS'S launch in 1996.

Born in Uruguay, Clav­ijo be­gan a 22-year pro­fes­sional play­ing ca­reer at age 16 Ate­nas of San Car­los, and six years later moved to the U.S. to sign with the New York Apollo of the Amer­i­can Soc­cer League in 1979. He played for NASL'S Golden Bay Earthquakes in 1983 and '84, and he also played in­door soc­cer for the New York Ar­rows (1981-83), San Diego Sock­ers (198488), Los An­ge­les Laz­ers (1988-89) and St. Louis Storm (1989-92).

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