Updated: Jan 4
Image: FC Dallas
Yesterday marked the 2nd anniversary of the passing of former FC Dallas Technical Director, Fernando Clavijo. He was with FC Dallas from 2012 until 2018, when he had to step down due to health issues. Fernando left a stamp on the club due to both his ability to sign great talent to Dallas and how he was as a person. FC Dallas owner, Dan Hunt had nothing but praise for him.
Before becoming Technical Director for Dallas, Clavijo played professional soccer for teams such as Atenas in Uruguay and the San Diego Sockers in the North American Soccer League, alongside several others. He even played for the US in the 1994 World Cup.
Image: FC Dallas
After playing, Clavijo moved into coaching and was in charge of the New England Revolution from 2000-2002 , the Haitian National Team in 2003 and the Colorado Rapids in 2004.
Clavijo's time with the New England Revolution proved to be very successful. The New England Soccer Journal reported that Clavijo was responsible for their success in the early 2000s. He lead the club to their first .500 record and their first victory in the playoffs. (https://www.nesoccerjournal.com/how-fernando-clavijo-shaped-the-new-england-revolution/)
Unfortunately, Clavijo did not win any trophies with them and he was let go by the organization midway through the 2002 season. The roster he created though made appearances in the 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007 MLS Cup Finals.
In 2012, FC Dallas hired Clavijo as the club's Technical Director, a role he served in until 2019. During his time with Dallas, Clavijo drafted Matt Hedges, Ryan Hollingshead, Walker Zimmerman, and 2014 Rookie of the Year Tesho Akindele, along with several others.
All four players named above are still in MLS. Walker Zimmerman currently plays for Nashville SC and is a regular member of the USMNT. Tesho is playing for former FC Dallas manager, Oscar Pareja in Orlando City. Matt Hedges and Ryan Hollingshead are still with the club and are currently two of the longest tenured players. All four helped Dallas to win its historic double in 2016.
In addition to helping Dallas build its roster in the Superdraft, Clavijo also brought in players like, Mauro Diaz, Maxi Urruti, and Michael Barrios. All three gave FC Dallas an attack that was exciting and very tough to beat.
Fernando Clavijo also played a big part in transforming FC Dallas into the club it is today. After Schellas Hyndman resigned as head coach, Clavijo led the club in its pursuit of Oscar Pareja for the manager role. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2017/04/20/fernando-clavijo-has-taken-fc-dallas-new-heights-took-unlikely-path-soccer-stardom)
Both worked together to create a roster filled with young talent and begin the process of turning FC Dallas into the club it is today.
Fernando Clavijo signed several homegrown players during his tenure. Kellyn Acosta, Paxton Pomykal, Reggie Cannon, and Bryan Reynolds are just a few of the homegrowns he signed to the first team. Paxton Pomykal is quickly becoming one of the most exciting prospects in MLS, while Cannon and Reynolds have already made the leap to Europe. Clavijo was one of the first to see the potential in them and recommend and sign them to the first team.
Fernando Clavijo's impact will be felt in the club for years. He was one of the first to begin the transformation of Dallas into what it is today.