Marcelo Balboa is a retired American footballer who played for the United States during the 1990s. During his time with the US national team, the defender rose to prominence and went on to captain the team. Balboa is a National Soccer Hall of Famer in the USA.
Following the end of his playing career, Balboa has worked as a commentator for both ESPN and ABC for MLS matches. His voice was also heard by Univision subscribers who watched the FIFA World Cup. Currently, the 49-year-old works as an academy coach for the Colorado Rapids.
Balboa, who has Argentine ancestors, was born in Chicago, Illinois and spent much of his childhood in California. His father, Luis Balboa, had played professional football in Argentina and with the Chicago Mustangs as well.
He played for Cerritos College, which retired Balboa’s jersey number following his graduation, and San Diego State University between 1986 and 1988. He also played on an amateur contract with the San Diego Nomads during the off-season.
Balboa signed his first professional contract with the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks of the American Professional Soccer League in 1990. He moved to the Colorado Foxes a couple of years down the line in 1992. He had a 2-year-spell with Mexican League side Leon between in 1995 and 1996 before playing for six seasons with the Colorado Rapids of the MLS. He was traded to the Metro Stars in 2002, for whom he only played for five minutes in an entire season before retiring from the sport.
Having made 152 appearances in the Major League Soccer, the defender amassed 24 goals and 23 assists. Balboa found a place in the MLS All-Time Best XI in 2005 and was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame at the same time along with Nick Folan. In the year 2000, Balboa scored a goal against the Columbus Crew which later went on to win the Goal of the Year for that season.
Balboa also had a distinguished international career with the US national team. He had played for the national team in the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups and became the first man to make 100 appearances for USA. He earned a total of 128 caps and scored 13 goals in total for the US national team.