Legendary indoor soccer defender. US Mens National Team hero. Championship winning coach. Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame. National Soccer Hall of Fame. Fernando Clavijo, who died on Friday at the age of 63, was all these things and more.
Clavijo, who succumbed to a long battle with multiple myeloma, played 11 seasons indoors from 1981-1992 before leaving to play for the National Team, where he earned 61 caps. The Uruguayan-born US citizen returned to the indoor game in 1995 as a coach and led the Seattle SeaDogs to a CISL title in 1997. He subsequently coached the Florida ThunderCats indoors and the New England Revolution and Colorado Rapids in MLS, as well as the Haitian National Team. He most recently served as the Technical Director of FC Dallas. Clavijo was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005 and recently appeared at the NASL 50th Anniversary reunion.
Indoor fans will recall Fernando’s time with the New York Arrows, Golden Bay Earthquakes, San Diego Sockers, Los Angeles Lazers, and St. Louis Storm. Clavijo won four MISL championships, and was named to that league’s All-Decade Team in 1988. In addition to being a six-time All-Star, Clavijo was twice named to the All-MISL First Team. He made his coaching debut as a player/coach with the Storm in 1992.
The San Diego Sockers community had already lost Ron Newman in August and Clavijo, who played four seasons with the Sockers, winning three championships, was among a short list of players being considered to have their number retired by the team.
Clavijo was inducted into the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014 and served on its selection committee. In October he cast a vote for a new class of inductees which will be announced in the next couple weeks.