Former US soccer defender Fernando Clavijo dies at 63
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).