Fernando Clavijo Elected to US National Soccer Hall of Fame

DENVER CO (Colorado Rapids Media Relations) – The Colorado Rapids’ Head Coach Fernando Clavijo a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Soccer National Team the American Soccer League the North American Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League has been elected to the Hall of Fame by votes cast by Hall of Famers from a list of more then 300 eligible veteran players.

"One thinks there is the potential to be recognized for contributions to the game. But when than recognition comes it is overwhelming and totally unexpected said Rapids Head Coach Fernando Clavijo. "I have won 10 championships in my soccer career but this is a greater honor than any I have ever received as a player."

"It is an overwhelming honor to have two National Soccer Hall of Famers working for our organization said Rapids CEO and General Manager Charlie Wright. "Fernando is a dedicated person that has devoted his life to the game of soccer with a great passion that has led him to achieve many goals and to be recognized as one of the best in the sport in our country. We feel honored that he is leading the future of our team with that same approach and can’t wait to see him achieve even more recognition at the reins of the Rapids."

"Fernando is another great addition to the Class of 2005 Hall of Fame President/CEO Will Lunn said. "His soccer career began in the American Soccer League and his greatest club achievements were in the MISL with many championships but it was his service to the US National Team in the 90’s and in the 1994 World Cup that has earned him this distinction."

Among the previously-announced members of the Class of 2005 is the Rapids’ Soccer Ambassador Marcelo Balboa who played alongside Clavijo during the 1994 World Cup. Not only friends off the field both of the former U.S. National Team players were roommates during the entire World Cup in 1994.

The other previously-announced members of the US National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2005 are John Harkes Tab Ramos and "Builder of the Sport" Hank Steinbrecher. The Colin Jose Media Award will be announced on a later date in June.

All of the inductees will be honored on August 28 and 29 in Oneonta NY at the Induction 2005 event which will also include an exhibition game between the Colorado Rapids and MLS defending champions DC United.

Fernando Clavijo Bi
-Born in Maldonado Uruguay
-Came to the United States in 1979 to play for the New York Apollos of the American Soccer League
-Played for New York United of the ASL in 1980-1981
-Played for New York Arrows San Diego Sockers Los Angeles Lazers and St. Louis Storm of the Major Indoor Soccer League from 1981-1991.
-Named an MISL All-Star 12 times
-Played for the NASL Golden Bay Earthquakes 1983-1984. Selected to NASL All-Star team in 1984
-Made US National Team debut on November 21 1990. Played 61 times for the USA including 3 starts in the 1994 World Cup.
-Following playing career turned to coaching with stints in the Continental Indoor Soccer League the U.S. Nike Project 40 team the Nigerian National Team in the 1998 World Cup the Haitian National Team in 2002 World Cup Qualifying and the New England Revolution of MLS.
-Currently Head Coach of the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.

Voting Results
The candidate who receives the most votes and at least 50% of the votes cast by Hall of Famers is elected. A second Veteran may be elected if both candidates receive a minimum of 80% of the votes cast. The top 5 candidates with 55 Veteran votes cast were:

Fernando Clavij 37 votes 67.27%
Bobby Smith: 30 votes 54.55%
Teofilo ‘Nene’ Cubillas: 28 votes 50.91%
Al Trost: 26 votes 47.27%
Debbie Belkin Radamacher: 24 votes 43.64%

Pre-NASL Induction Class Announcement
In addition to the election of Clavijo a Blue Ribbon Committee of the Hall of Fame studied the players from the pre-NASL era for those that may have been overlooked in the Hall of Fame process. Announced today as new Hall of Famers are Tommy Fleming Alex McNab Johnny Nelson Werner Nilsen and Fabri Salcedo.

"We were aware that In the early decades of the Hall of Fame a number of outstanding players had slipped through the cracks of the selection process said George Brown Chair of the Eligibility and Awards Committee.

"In order to correct these oversights we established a Blue Ribbon panel consisting of historians Colin Jose Roger Allaway and Hall of Famer Walter Bahr to review the credentials of all Veterans from the pre-NASL era. Out of a total of 150 players who met the eligibility criteria the panel unanimously recommended and the Board approved the special induction of these five players. All are from the decades prior to 1950 and all are now deceased. We are pleased to correct this historic oversight and honor these exceptional individuals by inducting them into the Hall of Fame said Brown.

Tom ‘Whitey’ Fleming (1890 – 1965). Highlights: Winner of 4 U.S. Open Cup medals 4 American Football Association Cup medals and 3 American Soccer League championships

Alex McNab (1895 – 1960). Highlights: Winner of 6 U.S. Open Cup medals and 3 American Soccer League championships

Johnny Nelson (1905 – 1984). Highlights: The number two all-time goal scorer in the original American Soccer League with 233 goals in 250 league games only behind Hall of Famer Archie Stark (Class of 1950).

Werner Nilsen (1904 – 1992). Highlights: A member of the 1934 World Cup team and winner of 5 U.S. Open Cup titles and 4 league championships

Fabri Salcedo (1914 – 1985). Highlights: Winner of 2 American Soccer League championships and 3 ASL scoring titles

Full biographies of all the new Hall of Famers are available on the Hall of Fame web site www.soccerhall.org

About Induction 2005
The National Soccer Hall of Fame will host Induction 2005 in Oneonta NY on August 28 and 29. Honor players Marcelo Balboa John Harkes Tab Ramos and Builder Hank Steinbrecher with your attendance. On Sunday August 28 the 2nd Annual Hall of Fame Golf Tournament and the President’s Reception/Dinner will be held. The Induction 2005 Ceremony will take place on Monday morning in the Museum. Induction is open to the public and is free of charge. The 2005 MLS Hall of Fame Game (Colorado Rapids vs. DC United) will kick off at 1:00 PM on August 29 on the Hall of Fame campus. Tickets for the Golf Tournament President’s Reception/Dinner and the MLS Hall of Fame Game are available at the Hall of Fame or by calling 800-545-FAME (3263).

About the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum:
Located in Oneonta NY the National Soccer Hall of Fame opened a 30000 square foot state-of-the-art museum in 1999. The Hall of Fame tells the story of soccer in America through artifacts photographs and video clips. In addition the new Hall features an extensive interactive youth oriented Kicks Zone where visitors have fun kicking heading and playing soccer and video soccer games. The VideoWall portrays some of the greatest moments and the greatest goals in history as well as live soccer action with World Cup MLS and U.S. Soccer matches. Unique and rare artifacts on exhibit range from memorabilia from the 20s to the FIFA Women’s World Cup won by the USA in 1999 Pelé’s and Mia Hamm’s uniforms Kristine Lilly’s golden shoes NASL championship rings the original MLS championship trophy and an MLS gallery. In addition to the interactive Museum the National Soccer Hall of Fame complex boasts the Kicks Hall of Fame Museum Shop a research library four world-class soccer fields and office/meeting facilities.

The mission of the National Soccer Hall of Fame is to celebrate the history honor the heroes inspire the youth and preserve the legacy of soccer in the United States.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $9 for adults $8 for students $6.50 for children 6 or older and senior citizens. Children 5 and under are free.