Portland soccer legend Clive Charles is one of 40 candidates on the final ballot for the 2021 National Soccer Hall of Fame, it was announced this morning. Hall voting committees will cast votes from February 5 to February 10 in the process's last round of ballots, with this year's class scheduled to be inducted on May 22 in Dallas.
Charles became eligible for this year's ballot a "Builder" via a nomination route, the Builder Nominee List, that was approved by the NSHOF board ahead of the 2021 election. He is one of 10 Builders eligible for the Hall of Fame this year, with a maximum of one Builder to be elected.
- ORAL HISTORY | Charles' place in Portland soccer lore
A member of the Portland Timbers during the team's North American Soccer League era, Charles is enshrined in the team's Ring of Honor and was a national championship-winning coach at the University of Portland. Charles also served in various capacities with U.S. Soccer, including as head coach of the women's U-20 national team (1993-1995) and as head coach of the U-23 men's national team during their run to the semifinals of the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Charles' four seasons playing for the Timbers began in 1978 and culminated in 1981, over a decade after he broke into professional soccer with West Ham United in the English first division in 1970. We would also play for Montreal Olympique (NASL) and Cardiff City (English divisions two and three) before his Portland arrival. He finished his career in the Major Indoor Soccer League with the Pittsburgh Spirit (1981-82) and Los Angeles Lazers (1982-82). As his playing career ended, he became the head coach at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, before being hired to coach the men's team at the University of Portland in 1986.
In 2002, Charles guided the Pilots' women's team, which he took over in 1989, to the NCAA title. He continued coaching both the men's and women's team on The Bluff until his death in August 2003.
Charles' Hall of Fame destiny now lies in the hands of the Hall's Builder Voting Committee: a 24-person panel where members can vote for up to five of this year's 10 eligible Builders. The Builder who gets the most votes and appears on at least 50 percent of the ballots gains election to the Hall.