THE U.S. SOCCER PODCAST - EPISODE 17: Former USMNT Defender Marcelo Balboa

Episode No. 17 of The U.S. Soccer Podcast features one of the best to wear the No. 17 jersey in U.S. Men’s National team history, as Marcelo Balboa joins hosts Jordan Angeli and Charlie Davies on the show as part of the Federation’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. 

The son of Argentine parents, soccer was ingrained in ‘Celo from a young age. A former professional player in Argentina, his father Luis Balboa came to the United States to play for the Chicago Mustangs of the old NASL in the late 1960s. While here playing in the NASL, ‘Celo was born, paving the way for him to represent the United States 20 years later. The stalwart defender opened the podcast by describing how deep the game ran in his blood, and the role his father played in pushing him to greater heights in the sport.


The first U.S. player – man or woman – to reach 100 caps, Balboa rose from the U-20 MNT and into the senior team in 1988, becoming one of the youngest players on the 1990 FIFA World Cup roster. A mainstay in the side leading up to the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, he suffered an ACL tear just over a year before the tournament, putting his participation in doubt. Balboa went into detail about the depression he experienced in that time and the helping hand that the late Fernando Clavijo provided him as he recovered before going on to start for the USA in all four matches of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. 



Full of interesting stories, Balboa spoke in depth on the growth of the National Team programs since the late 1980s, the team’s performance at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, when he knew it was the right time to retire and how he sees the development of Hispanic talent in the United States.


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Episode No.



Ep. 16 Former USMNT Defender Oguchi Onyewu September 11
Ep. 15 Former USWNT midfielder Shannon Boxx August 28
Ep. 14 USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter August 21
Ep. 13 USMNT Goalkeeper Tim Howard August 14
Ep. 12 Former USWNT Forward Mia Hamm July 31

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Former USMNT Defender Tony Sanneh

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Former USMNT Midfielder Robbie Rogers

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Former USWNT Midfielder Lori Lindsey

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FIFA Referee Katja Koroleva

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USMNT General Manager Brian McBride

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USWNT General Manager Kate Markgraf

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