Clayton Berling, who founded Soccer America in 1971, passed away Thursday. He was 86.

Frustrated by the lack of soccer coverage way back in the day, Clay, as he was better known as to the soccer community, decided to publish a bi-weekly newsletter called Soccer West in 1971. The next year, the publication went national and changed its name to Soccer America, becoming a weekly.

Little did Berling know that he would launch a publication that would become the voice of soccer in the United States. The publication has won numerous awards through the years.

In 1967, Berling fell in love with the sport when he took his family — wife Ruth and his six children — to a National Professional Soccer League match at the Oakland Coliseum. He wound up launching boys and girls soccer in north California and was president of a youth soccer league.

Berling was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, California Soccer Association North Hall of Fame and the California Youth Soccer Association Hall of Fame.

Berling survived by his wife Sarah, his children Lynn Berling-Manuel, Janet Ceja-Orozco, Sheryl Berling-Wolff, James Berling, Alan Berling and Ken Berling, and seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Memorial service information will be announced in the coming days.

For Soccer America’s obituary on Clay Berling, visit: