Fernando Clavijo, veteran of the United States' 1994 World Cup and National Soccer Hall of Fame member, passed away on Friday at the age of 63.
He had suffered from multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, for five years, and died at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Clavijo's career in football lasted for 45 years, first as a player, helping the USMNT to their first CONCACAF Gold Cup triumph, before moving to coaching roles.
As head coach he led New England Revolution and Colorado Rapids, and was technical director at FC Dallas for six years, helping them to lift the Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup in 2016.
A statement from his family reads: "It is with deep sadness that we share the news of Fernando Clavijo's passing on February 8 after a courageous battle with cancer.
"The support and encouragement he received from friends and the entire soccer community throughout his fight will always be appreciated.
"At this time the Clavijo family requests privacy as we mourn the loss of a great man and no additional statements will be made. Further details on remembrances and a celebration of his life will be shared in the near future."
Clavijo started his soccer career in Uruguay, the country of his birth, with Atenas before moving to the United States and playing for a number of Major Indoor Soccer League and North American Soccer League teams in the 1980s.
He acquired U.S. citizenship in 1987 and made his debut for the national team three years later, going on to earn 61 caps.
A fixture of the defense, Clavijo played three matches at the 1994 World Cup at left-back for the USMNT, despite being the oldest player on the roster at 38 years of age.
He coached the New England Revolution from 2000-2002 before leading the Haiti men's national team from 2003-2005.
Clavijo began coaching the Colorado Rapids in 2005, the year he was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He was made technical director of FC Dallas in 2012, a role he served until stepping down last September to focus on his health.
U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro has said: “All of us in the U.S. Soccer family are deeply saddened by the passing of Fernando Clavijo, one of the pioneers of soccer in the United States.
“As a player, a coach, a mentor and a friend, Fernando impacted the lives of generations of people involved in the sport to which he dedicated his life. Our thoughts today are with his family and friends as we reflect on his great legacy.”