FRISCO -- FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo has taken on an important role over the past two months – international salesman.
Having recently returned from trips to Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico and Spain, Clavijo has just departed for a week-long jaunt to Colombia and Argentina. The point of the trips is not to rack up frequent flyer miles, but to sell interested and high-profile players on coming to FC Dallas.
“[It’s about] selling these players on MLS,” Clavijo said. “Being able to understand what kind of person they are, what kind of individuals they are, why they would like to come to the United States…I really look at the players and ask why they want to come here? My question to them is always ‘why?’”
Clavijo goes on the road pitching a quality of life in Frisco that, for some players, may appeal more than Designated Player money.
“If you’re looking for money only, this is not the place to come,” Clavijo said. “If you’re looking for security, a way of life, a great and incredible up and coming league, this is it.
“The kind [of players] that attract me, say ‘I don’t care [about the money] I want a way of life for my family and my kids. I want safety and security and a different way of life.’ Those kinds of players, if they can play, are a perfect match for us.”
According to Clavijo, the facilities at FC Dallas Stadium are right up there with the best in the world. The toughest part is simply getting the message across to interested parties.
“I think we in Dallas can offer a lot of things that other teams cannot offer,” he continued. “I was in Valencia, Sporting Gijon, Real Madrid and Real Madrid B. What we have here to offer [in facilities] is better than many of those teams. But we don’t know, and they don’t know.”
FC Dallas has yet to make any signings in this young off-season, but according to Clavijo, signings are very close to happening with a goal of getting every player in before the start of pre-season on January 17.
“When you paint the picture of this, and they believe you, then it’s easy,” Clavijo said. “You look at other teams in Canada and LA that pay a lot more money, yes, but it’s also a lot more money to live in those places.
“Which I also raise when I talk to them, it’s not always green on the other side of the river if you want to put it that way and I think Dallas has a lot of good things to offer to the specific player.”