Cle Kooiman

Christopher Clemence "Cle" Kooiman (born July 3, 1963) is a retired American soccer defender. He played professionally in both Mexico and the United States including the first Major Indoor Soccer League, Western Soccer Alliance, American Professional Soccer League and Major League Soccer.[2] He earned twelve caps, scoring one goal, with the U.S. national soccer team in 1993 and 1994.[3] He was a member of the U.S. team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

Cle Kooiman
Personal information
Full name Christopher Clemence Kooiman
Date of birth (1963-07-03) July 3, 1963
Place of birth Ontario, California, United States[1]
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
00001982 San Diego State Aztecs
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
19821987 Los Angeles Lazers (indoor) 157 (10)
1989 California Kickers
1990 San Diego Nomads
19901991 Cobras de Ciudad Juárez 28 (1)
19921994 Cruz Azul 51 (2)
19941996 Morelia
19961997 Tampa Bay Mutiny 54 (3)
1998 Miami Fusion 14 (0)
National team
19931994 United States 12 (1)
Teams managed
U.S. U-20 national team (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Cle Kooiman was born in Ontario, California, and attended San Diego State University. In 1982, he was named to the All Far West team.


In 1982, Kooiman began his professional career playing for the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League. He would remain with the Lazers until 1987.


In 1989, he began his outdoor professional career with the California Kickers of the Western Soccer League (WSL). That year, he was named as a league First Team All Star. He moved to the San Diego Nomads for the 1990 season. However, by that time, the WSL had merged with the American Soccer League to form the American Professional Soccer League.


At the end of the 1990, Kooiman moved to Mexico.[4] He began with Cobras de Ciudad Juarez, of the Mexican Premier Division before moving to Cruz Azul in Mexican Premier League. While with Cruz Azul, he became the first U.S. citizen to captain a Mexican soccer team. In 1994, he moved to Morelia.[5]


In 1996, the newly established Major League Soccer (MLS) distributed "marque" players throughout the league's teams. Kooiman was allocated to the Tampa Bay Mutiny.[6] He would play two seasons with the Mutiny, but at the end of the 1997 season, the Mutiny left him exposed in the 1997 MLS Expansion Draft. The Miami Fusion selected Kooiman in the first round (14th overall) and he would play a single season for that team.[7][8][9][10][11]

National team

Kooiman earned his first cap with the national team in 1993. He would eventually play 12 games with the national team, scoring a single goal and participating in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where he played the full 90 minutes in the U.S.'s opening game against Switzerland.[12]


  1. Lisa Dillman (1994-06-02). "World Cup Player Profile". Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  2. Tim Froh (1970-01-01). "Cle Kooiman, the indoor soccer star who became an unlikely hero in Mexico | Football". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  3. "SOCCER / GOLD CUP : Kooiman's Overtime Goal Puts U.S. in Finals". 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  4. "WORLD CUP '94: 15 Days and Counting : Cle Is Key for U.S. : Defender Kooiman Plays Like Wild Man". 1994-06-02. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  5. Cle KooimanLiga MX stats at (in Spanish)
  6. Straus, Brian. "MLS at 20: Epic original branding, logos for the league's first 10 teams | ASN: All Sports Networks". Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  7. "Kooiman, Paulinho Among 7 Waived". 1998-11-01. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  8. "Fusion's Kooimann Not Afraid To Mix It Up". 1998-02-09. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  9. "Fusion Player Profiles". 1998-03-15. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  10. "Scarred Kooiman In Camp". 1998-01-15. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  11. "World Cup Countdown: Where Would The USA Be Without. . . Mexico?". 2016-06-26. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  12. "Where are they Now: MNT Defender Cle Kooiman". U.S. Soccer. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
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