Marco “El Diablo” Etcheverry
Hailing from the tropics of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to the Capital City of DC, welcome Marco Etcheverry. Debuting in 1986 in his native region, Etcheverry played for various clubs in Bolivia, Colombia, Chile & even across the sea in Spain, for 10 years. In the summer of 1996, the inaugural season for Major League Soccer, the standout midfielder joined the newly formed DC United.
Already an established national team player, Marco showed great pedigree. Most notably his goal against Brazil in the World Cup Qualifiers in ‘94. Despite such legendary competition, Etcheverry proved that not only could he fit in but also thrive. Moving to a brand new league, in a foreign land, sounds like a daunting task for most individuals. However, this gem of a midfielder took it in full stride.
Winning at an incredible rate, Etcheverry helped DC United capture 3 of the first 4 MLS Cups! On top of building a dynasty, he also achieved great individual success. Marco brought home the Most Valuable Player award in MLS for the season of ‘98. The maestro, gifted with tremendous vision & foresight, tallied 19 assists with 10 goals. The Bolivian continued to conduct the DC United midfield for years to come, often reaching double-digit assists in most of his campaigns.
Free-flowing just like his hair, Marco would go on to be arguably the greatest player ever to wear the DC United kit. Holding the club record for assists is outrageous in itself, but to also have the most games played, is out of this world. Some of his top goals mirrored another great South American, Lionel Messi. Pinpoint from set pieces, Etcheverry often buried free-kicks at the cost of opposing goalkeepers.
In 2003, the Bolivian played his final season after 8 years at United. Etching a once in a lifetime career. A spot on the MLS All-Time Best XI came calling in ‘05. Forever in the history of Major League Soccer, he was named as a Top 25 Player of all time. With a plethora of accomplishments, maybe the most important was, the last & final one; National Soccer Hall of Fame. Marco Etcheverry was selected to the HOF, in the class of 2022 for his momentous career.