FC Dallas to honor Fernando Clavijo on Saturday

FC Dallas recently lost a member of its family with the passing of former Technical Director Fernando Clavijo.  Many members of the US Soccer community, including FC Dallas owner Dan Hunt, spoke eloquently about Claivjo in the days after he lost his battle against multiple myeloma.

Now this weekend, FC Dallas is going to honor their former leader at the season opener against the New England Revolution. The Revs are a fitting opponent to honor Clavijo as he coached them multiple seasons.

FC Dallas announced ways to honor Clavijo

– Clavijo’s sons, Nico and Jonathan, will serve as honorary scarfers of the Lamar Hunt Statue.

– A banner for Clavijo will be unveiled next to the one honoring the late Bobby Rhine underneath the press box on the West side of the stadium.

– FC Dallas and New England Revolution players will wear armbands during the match to honor Clavijo’s legacy. Clavijo served as New England’s head coach from 2000-2002.

– The FC Dallas team store and Soccer90 will sell limited-edition Fernando Clavijo scarves with 100% of the proceeds going to a charity of the family’s choice, Mount Sinai Medical Center Foundation.

Dallas Beer Guardians TeamClavijo Wristbands

FC Dallas supporters group Dallas Beer Guardians are selling TeamClavijo wristbands with proceeds going to a foundation that the Clavijo family are setting up in Fernando’s name. These go for $5 and can be found at the 24 Hour Tailgate in the Red Lot on the west side of the stadium prior to the game.

The wristbands are burgundy as the color associated with Multiple Myeloma support. These are a reissue of the silicone bands the group produced after Clavijo’s initial diagnosis in 2014.

Dan Crooke – Thoughts on Fernando Clavijo

I’ve never met anyone as willing to give time to people as Fernando Clavijo. He had time for everyone. Whether he’d dropped into a tailgate or the press box or surprised fans by watching a game in the Beer Garden. Everyone he met was every bit as equal as a player, coach, or owner to him.

In some media outlets, editors (not Buzz!) can give you a really bad storyline to chase. Fernando would never hold it against you and he would always give you the content you needed in the most professional way. Off the record, whether you were a fan or media, he would give you his honest opinion and it would turn into a long discussion about soccer and family. Everyone has a ‘Clavijo the soccer guy’ story and a story about Fernando the person, but the overriding theme is always his infectious positive outlook.

The last time I saw him was when he and Martha came to town for the Hall of Fame ceremony and Sporting Kansas City game. I gave him a banner that I’d painted of his 1994 World Cup jersey to take to a game where I was in the stands as a fan. He appreciated those gestures from fans, you can watch the Dallas Beer Guardians presenting him with a tifo that was made into a quilt (see below).

We talked about how his T-Cell treatments had been and time at home in Florida. He just smiled and said he was out of options, but the only thing that really mattered was that he’d lived a long, happy life and was enjoying all the time he spent with Martha, their two sons, and two grandchildren. He fought all his life – from leaving Uruguay for new opportunities to a four year battle with cancer – and did so with a smile, which is something we should all aspire to emulate.

Buzz Carrick – Thoughts on Fernando Clavijo

I count myself as unfortunate that I didn’t know Fernando Clavijo well enough to call him a friend.  That’s something I regret. I did have multiple conversations with him over the last two years but the majority of his time with FC Dallas coincided in a time I was away from Dallas a great deal.  I consider it a blessing to have known him as much as I did.

While covering FC Dallas I always found Clavijo to be open, honest, charming, and upfront about himself and the club. He would talk about any aspect of their process and loved to do so. He was so jazzed about the addition of North Texas SC to the club that I often couldn’t get him to not talk about it.

In the talks we did share, I was always struck by what a joyful soul he had.  Clavijo was never without a smile, he was always positive, always friendly, and would talk for hours about soccer even during his illness.  He sat with me through an entire 2-hour FC Dallas scrimmage in Tuscon last year telling me story after story of his life.

The man was a joy.

This is my favorite picture I ever took of Clavijo. It perfectly captures his spirit and positivity, even when he was sick.

FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo (left) and Head Coach Oscar Pareja (right). (5-23-18)
FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo (left) and Head Coach Oscar Pareja (right). (5-23-18)(Buzz Carrick / 3rd Degree)

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