I was so saddened to see the news of Clay Berling
’s passing. He was a giant of a man.
I was impressed to read of his many accomplishments and honors – some of which I
knew about, others of which I did not. But beyond those activities and awards stood a man who I was proud to consider a friend. I smiled at the line about him greeting so many people at each
convention. That’s an image I will always have of him. Most important is HOW he did it. He smiled always.
He had a word for everyone. He did not complain about the people who
criticized him or Soccer America for some error or imagined slight or even something that never appeared in its pages. He did not engage in arguments with them. He simply discussed this great
sport -- quietly, gently, intelligently. He won some over; others could never listen. It didn’t matter.
He represented his magazine, and his sport, with grace and quiet passion.