Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Who is Clive Charles?
Charles was a pro Soccer player for West Ham United in England beginning in 1970.
He then played for some other pro teams before making his way to the Portland Timbers in 1978.
He continued his career in Portland indoors and outdoors till 1981. His jersey #3 is retired by the Timbers.
Eventually, he was offered a high school coaching job near the Portland area.
Three years after he started coaching the high school team, he was hired by the University of Portland. He took on coaching duties for both the men's and women's teams.
His coaching experience led to his taking over the U.S. U-23 Men's National team.
Charles is the inspiration/face in the middle of the gigantic banner spread hanging from this past week's Portland-Seattle game. The banner is meant to motivate the crowd at the beginning of the match. It reads 'Legends are Born when the Previous are Surpassed.'
Click here to see highlights of the banner and the game.
For more info on other aspects of the banner, click here.
A reader from North American Soccer Industry (NASI) chimed in to add the following:
Clive Charles was also one of the first black players at West Ham. He helped another black player on his arrival with the club in the 1960's - Clyde Best. Best would later become a star in the NASL with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Clive Charles was loaned to the Montreal Olympic of the NASL early in his career (1971-72) where he met his wife.
One of Charles' Portland University players went on to become the most decorated goalkeeper in American soccer history - one Kasey Keller.