Marcelo Balboa
Balboa in 2006
Personal information
Date of birth (1967-08-08) August 8, 1967 (age 56)
Place of birth Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Position(s) Defender
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1987 Cerritos College
1988–1989 San Diego State Aztecs
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1989 San Diego Nomads (8)
1990–1991 San Francisco Bay 15 (7)
1992 Colorado Foxes 15 (4)
1994–1995 León 53 (3)
1996–2001 Colorado Rapids 151 (24)
2002 MetroStars 1 (0)
Total 235 (46)
International career
1988–2000 United States 127 (13)
Medal record
Representing  United States
Men's soccer
FIFA Confederations Cup
Third place 1992 Saudi Arabia
Third place 1999 Mexico
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Winner 1991 United States
Third place 1996 United States
Runner-up 1998 United States
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Marcelo Balboa (born August 8, 1967) is an American former professional soccer player who played as a defender in the 1990s for the United States national team, becoming its captain. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.[1]

After retiring from playing, he has worked as a commentator for ESPN and ABC and MLS games on HDNet and Altitude, as well as FIFA World Cup games on Univision. He is the head boys' soccer coach for Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado,[2]

Club career

Youth

Balboa, who is of Argentine descent, was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Cerritos, California. Balboa played youth soccer for Fram-Culver, which won the 1986 McGuire Cup (U-19 National Championship).[3] Balboa's father, Luis Balboa who played professionally in Argentina and with the Chicago Mustangs of the North American Soccer League, coached him. In 1985, Balboa graduated from Cerritos High School.

Balboa attended Cerritos College, a local two-year community college from 1986 to 1987. At Cerritos, Balboa was both placekicker on the football team and a two-time 1st Team All-South Coast Conference soccer player. Cerritos College has retired Balboa's jersey number – #3.[4] In 1988, Balboa transferred to San Diego State University where he was a 1988 First Team and a 1989 Second Team All American soccer player.[5]

Professional

From 1987 to 1989, Balboa played the collegiate off-seasons on an amateur contract with the professional San Diego Nomads of the Western Soccer League. He was the 1988 WSA MVP.[6] In 1990, Balboa began his professional career with the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks of the American Professional Soccer League.[7] In 1992, he moved to the Colorado Foxes.[8] He played for León in the Mexican League in 1995 and 1996.

In 1996, Balboa signed with Major League Soccer and the Colorado Rapids. Balboa played six seasons for the Rapids, leading as the team's all-time leader in many statistical categories.[citation needed] Traded to the MetroStars in 2002, he played only five minutes all year, sitting out the rest with injuries, and retiring afterwards.

Balboa ended his MLS career with 24 goals and 23 assists in 152 games. In 2005, Balboa was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI and elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on the first ballot along with Nick Folan. In 2012, he was inducted into the Colorado Hall of Fame.[9]

A goal by Balboa for the Rapids in 2000 against the Columbus Crew was named the MLS Goal of the Year for that season.

International career

Balboa earned his first cap with United States national team on January 10, 1988, against Guatemala. He anchored the American defense in the 1990 and the 1994 FIFA World Cups, in the latter receiving international attention for his near miss with a bicycle kick[10] in the United States' win over Colombia. He was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1992 and 1994. In 1995, he became the first United States player to break the 100-cap barrier. In 1998, he joined Tab Ramos and Eric Wynalda as the first United States players to play in three World Cups. Balboa ended his United States career with 128 caps and 13 goals, and his final appearance came in a friendly against Iran on January 16, 2000.

Post-retirement

Team executive

After the 2004 MLS season, Balboa assumed a front office position with the Rapids.

Broadcaster

Balboa debuted as a sideline reporter during ABC's coverage of the 2003 MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup. In 2004, he became a regular announcer for ABC and ESPN's television coverage of the United States national team. Most recently, Balboa has paired up with baseball announcer Dave O'Brien as networks' #1 U.S. announcing team for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[11]

In 2007, Balboa started a soccer radio show, From The Pitch, which airs on Denver station Mile High Sports Radio.[12] Balboa served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of Soccer at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[13] He has been a guest soccer analyst on Telefutura's Contacto Deportivo.

In 2014, he was commentator of the United States team matches for Univision at the World Cup in Brazil.

Coaching

In 2012, Monarch High School hired Balboa to coach the boys' soccer team.[14]

Personal life

Balboa, who is the son of Argentine immigrants, resides in the town of Superior, Colorado.

Career statistics

Appearances and goals by national team and year[15]
National team Year Apps Goals
United States 1988 7 0
1989 4 0
1990 15 1
1991 15 2
1992 21 3
1993 10 0
1994 24 4
1995 6 1
1996 8 1
1997 10 0
1998 4 1
1999 2 0
2000 1 0
Total 127 13
Scores and results list the United States' goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Balboa goal.
List of international goals scored by Marcelo Balboa
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 May 30, 1990 Eschen, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 2–1 4–1 Friendly
2 June 29, 1991 Pasadena, California, United States  Trinidad and Tobago 2–1 2–1 1991 Gold Cup
3 August 28, 1991 Brasov, Romania  Romania 1–0 2–0 Friendly
4 February 2, 1992 Pontiac, Michigan, United States  CIS 1–0 2–0 Friendly
5 May 30, 1992 Washington, D.C., United States  Republic of Ireland 2–1 3–1 1992 U.S. Cup
6 October 19, 1992 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Ivory Coast 1–0 5–2 1992 King Fahd Cup
7 January 15, 1994 Tempe, Arizona, United States  Norway 1–1 2–1 Friendly
8 February 13, 1994 Hong Kong  Romania 1–1 1–2 1994 Carlsberg Cup
9 March 12, 1994 Fullerton, California, United States  South Korea 1–1 1–1 Friendly
10 May 7, 1994 Fullerton, California, United States  Estonia 3–0 4–0 Friendly
11 June 11, 1995 Foxborough, Massachusetts, United States  Nigeria 2–2 3–2 1995 U.S. Cup
12 January 16, 1996 Anaheim, California, United States  Trinidad and Tobago 2–0 2–0 1996 Gold Cup
13 March 14, 1997 San Diego, California, United States  Paraguay 2–1 2–2 Friendly

Honors

United States

Individual

See also

References

  1. ^ "Marcelo Balboa - 2005 Inductee | National Soccer Hall of Fame". Marcelo Balboa - 2005 Inductee | National Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  2. ^ "Marcelo Balboa hired to coach Treble soccer club". The Denver Post. May 14, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  3. ^ "USA Youth Soccer National Champions (1935–1998)". Archived from the original on November 19, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  4. ^ Cerritos College Soccer Media Guide[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "San Diego Aztecs: Marcelo Balboa". Archived from the original on May 23, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "The Year in American Soccer – 1988". Archived from the original on July 13, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  7. ^ 1990 San Francisco Bay Blackhawks
  8. ^ 1992 Colorado Foxes
  9. ^ Colorado Hall of Fame: Marcelo Balboa Archived 2013-08-25 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Simpson, Paul; Hesse, Uli (June 19, 2014). "Who Invented the Bicycle Kick?". Slate. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  11. ^ "ESPN MediaZone – a resource for media professionals". Media.espn.com. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  12. ^ "From The Pitch – Soccer Radio – 42 – Man – Denver, Colorado – myspace.com/fromthepitch". MySpace. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  13. ^ "Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup - A blog on sports media, news and networks - baltimoresun.com". Weblogs.baltimoresun.com. June 17, 2010. Archived from the original on August 3, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  14. ^ Marcelo Balboa hired to coach Monarch High boys' soccer
  15. ^ "Marcelo Balboa – U.S. Soccer Media Guide". 2013 USMNT Media Guide. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  16. ^ "Athlete of the Year Award". US Soccer. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  17. ^ All-Star Game flashback, 1997 at MLSsoccer.com
  18. ^ "1998 MLS All-Star Game". MLSsoccer.com. August 2, 1998. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  19. ^ mlssoccer. "1999 MLS All-Star Game". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  20. ^ "2000 MLS All-Star Game". MLSsoccer.com. July 29, 2000. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  21. ^ "Balboa, Ramos named to CONCACAF "Team of the Century"" Archived 5 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Soccer America, 14 May 1998.