Marco Etcheverry "El Diablo," Elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame


Marco Etcheverry, “El Diablo,” took Washington, DC by storm during the infancy of MLS and became one of the most beloved players in Black-and-Red and league history. The Bolivian international joined D.C. United back in the team’s inaugural season in 1996 and gave United eight sensational seasons from 1996 to 2003. Still, Etcheverry’s legacy went beyond D.C. United, as he impacted the league as a whole with his creativity and offensive ability on the field. With a long resume of trophies to his name and a patented swagger on the field, the talented midfielder earned his selection to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Jan. 30, 2022.

Etcheverry was named alongside U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Dempsey and U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Shannon Boxx and goalkeeper Hope Solo in the National Soccer Hall of Fame class of 2022. He will become the seventh individual from United’s dominant team between 1996-1999 to be selected. He will join teammates Jaime Moreno, John Harkes, Jeff Agoos, and Eddie Pope, as well as former D.C. United coach Bruce Arena and former United President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Payne.

In his eight-year tenure with the Black-and-Red, Etcheverry played a critical role in the team establishing the first dynasty in MLS history. In 214 appearances (203 starts) across all competitions, El Diablo scored 37 goals, recorded 114 assists—seventh all-time in MLS—and won numerous individual awards. Etcheverry was named to the MLS Best XI four seasons in a row (1996-1999), won goal of the year twice (1997, 1999), MLS MVP (1998), and MLS All-Star MVP (2002).

Since he joined in 1996, he has been one of the most beloved players to wear the D.C. United crest. From his memorable mullet hairstyle to being nicknamed El Diablo for the terror he inflicted on his opponents, Etcheverry knew how to put on a show for fans. His footwork and creativity with the ball were a captivating spectacle and fans were constantly on the edge of their seats anticipating what he would do in possession.

Etcheverry’s first four years with D.C. United were his most impactful seasons in the nation's capital. From 1996-1999, the midfielder propelled D.C. United to their highest achievements. El Diablo led the Black-and-Red to three of their first four MLS Cups, including the 1998 Champions League, Copa Interamericana titles, and the 1996 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. And, in 1998, El Diablo reached a career-high 10 goals, with six coming from free kicks—one of his trademark talents.

1999 MLS Cup Trophy Celebration - Marco Etcheverry, Carlos Llamosa and John Maessener

Etcheverry is a player that has done it all in MLS and continues to be recognized for it years after hanging up his boots. From being named to The 25 Greatest honoring the most decorated and impactful players in MLS history in Dec. 2020, to now being inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on May 21. Etcheverry continues to establish his legendary status as one of the all-time greatest ever to represent D.C. United.