Marcelo Balboa (born August 8, 1967 in Chicago, Illinois) is an
American soccer defender, captain of the US National Team for a
large part of the 1990s.
After playing in college at San Diego State University, Balboa
anchored the American defense in the 1990 and the 1994 World
Cups (his first cap came on January 10, 1988 against Guatemala).
He was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1992 and 1994.
In 1995, he became the first US player to break the 100-cap
barrier. Marcelo played for Leon in Mexico in 1995 and 1996,
before signing 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. In 1998, he
joined Tab Ramos and Eric Wynalda as the first US players to
play in three World Cups. Traded to the MetroStars in 2002,
Marcelo played only five minutes all year, sitting out the rest
with injuries, and retiring afterwards. He ended his US career
with 128 caps and 13 goals, and his MLS career with 24 goals and
23 assists in 152 games.
Balboa is known for his bicycle kicks, two of which come to mind
-- a spectacular miss in the US win over Colombia in the 1994
World Cup; and a goal for the Rapids in 2000 against the
Columbus Crew, named the MLS Goal of the Year for that season.
After retiring as a player, Balboa worked as a TV broadcaster
for ESPN and HDNet. After the 2004 MLS season, he assumed a
front office position with the Rapids.