Colin Clark is the former U.S. Soccer star who died at the age of 35 on August 37. Clark’s cause of death was a heart attack he suffered overnight.
Clark’s passing was confirmed in a tweet from his former team, the Colorado Rapids. The Major League Soccer franchise tweeted, “The Colorado Rapids organization mourns the loss of former player and Colorado native Colin Clark. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to Colin’s friends and family.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Clark Leaves Behind a Son Named Tyce
Another of Clark’s former teams, the Los Angeles Galaxy, paid tribute on Twitter.
While one of Clark’s former teammates, Joe Cannon, said in a statement, “Such an incredible person. Played with him when he was breaking through the league. Saw him coaching years back & he was a great mentor to the young players.” The message continued, “This is devastating & so tragic with him & Junior. My ❤️ to family, friends & fans of both these great guys.” Those sentiments were reiterated by Clark’s other teammate, Hunter Freeman, who tweeted, “Shocked & saddened to hear of the passing of my former teammate & friend Colin Clark. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends…and in particular his son, Tyce.”
2. In the Same Year, Clark Was Named Humanitarian of the Year for His Team, Trained With Aston Villa & Made His Debut for the USMNT
Clark was a graduate of Fort Collins High School in Colorado, where he was born. Most notably, Clark played for the Colorado Rapids for five seasons between 2006 and 2010. In 2010, Clark went to play for the Houston Dynamo for three seasons and then one season with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
In 2009, Clark was awarded the team’s Humanitarian of the Year award. That same year, Clark trained for a time with English Premier League team Aston Villa and made his solitary appearance for the U.S. National team in a Gold Cup game against Haiti. Collins played his college career at Southern Methodist University between 2002 and 2004.
3. Clark Said That His Football Playing Father Had Never Heard of Soccer Until His Son Started Playing it
Clark told the Denver Post in a 2008 interview that his father, a fan of American football, would regularly drive his son on the three-hour round trip to the local soccer team, the Colorado Rush. Clark said, “We did it five times a week. There was a lot of talking on the drive, listening to music and sometimes homework.” Clark added, “My dad grew up in a small town in Ohio, and was a punter for the high school football team. He didn’t know what soccer was until I started playing it. But he started reading books, and he learned.”
The Colorado Rush said in a statement upon learning of Clark’s death, “We mourn the loss of our dear friend and player Colin Clark. We were honored to share the pitch with you for so many years. Our deepest condolences and sympathies go out to his family and friends.”
4. Clark Was Suspended for 3 Games in 2012 After He Called a Ballboy a ‘F******’
In March 2012, Clark was suspended for three games while he was playing with the Houston Dynamo. Clark had been recorded calling a ball boy a “f******” during a game with Seattle. Clark felt the ball boy was too slow to return the ball after it went out of play. Clark’s remarks were completely audible.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement, “Major League Soccer will not tolerate this type of behavior from its players or staff at any time, under any circumstances. Colin Clark has expressed sincere remorse for his actions and I believe that he will learn from this incident.” In addition to the suspension, Clark was forced to attend sensitivity training. Clark expressed remorse for his actions saying, “I am sorry about what happened during the Seattle match. I have personally apologized to the ball boy, and I want to take this chance to say I’m sorry to everyone that I’ve offended. I intend to never use those words again in any context.” Clark added that he hoped to learn from the incident and to move on.
5. Some of Soccer’s Biggest Names Have Been Paying Tribute to Clark on Social Media
As well as those already mentioned in this article, some of soccer’s biggest names as well as soccer fans have been paying tribute to Clark on social media. Here are some of the most poignant messages: