Fort Lauderdale, FL (Sports Network)
The Haitian Soccer Federation announced today the appointment of former United States National Team defender and Major League Soccer Coach Fernando Clavijo as Head Coach of the Haitian National Team. The announcement was made by the President of the Haitian Soccer Federation Dr. Yves Jean-Bart at a press conference at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Clavijo’s contract with the Haitian Soccer Federation extends until the year 2006. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.
"It is a great honor and a great responsibility to take over the reins of the Haitian National Team," Fernando Clavijo said. "Our first priority is to prepare for World Cup Qualifying, which begins in January. After that, the main task is to begin working with the youth national team programs to set up the farm system for the future of Haitian soccer."
After great success coaching indoor teams and following a stint as the assistant coach of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, Fernando Clavijo took over as the head coach of the New England Revolution before the 2000 season. Under the guidance of Clavijo, a former U.S. National Team defender, the Revolution had its most successful season ever in 2001, finishing the regular season with a
13-13-6 record and winning a playoff game for the first time in club history. The Revs set a new team high in points, reaching 45 points in 32 games played. Clavijo's ability to spot talented players helped him acquire mainstream starters for MLS such as forwards Taylor Twellman and Rusty Pierce.
Clavijo, who was born in Uruguay, started his coaching career in 1989. His first coaching job without the responsibilities as a player took him to the Pacific Northwest in 1994. He was the head coach of the expansion Seattle Seadogs of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL), and in just three years, he led the Seadogs to an impressive 27-7 record and the CISL Championship. In recognition of this great accomplishment, he was named the 1997 Coach of the Year.
In 1998 he became the assistant coach for the MLS Nike Project-40 team, comprised of the most talented young American players looking to get a jump start on their professional careers. Along with his duties developing America’s brightest young talent, Clavijo also spent 1998 as the Head Coach of the Futsal U.S. National Team (the National Indoor team). Clavijo's great work ethnic and knowledge of the game caught former coach Bora Milutinovic’s eye, and when Milutinovic became head coach of the MetroStars, he called upon Clavijo to be his assistant coach.
As a player, Clavijo has an equally impressive resume. After starting his professional career at 16 years of age in Uruguay, Clavijo and his wife, Martha, moved to the United States in 1979. At age 22, he began his U.S. professional career in the American Soccer League. During the 1980s, as a member of the St. Louis Storm, the San Diego Sockers and the Los Angeles Lazers, Clavijo was one of the top players in the history of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL).
He was named an All-Star 12 times, while also being tabbed the MISL Defender of the Year on three occasions. In 1990, MISL named him its Player of the Decade for the 1980s. In 1994, Clavijo’s dream of playing in a World Cup came true, as he started and played the full 90 minutes in the U.S. team’s historic upset of Colombia in the 1994 USA World Cup.
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