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Marco Etcheverry Bio

Marco Antonio Etcheverry Vargas (born September 26, 1970 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra) is a former Bolivian football (soccer) midfielder, considered as one of the best Bolivian players of all time.[citation needed] Etcheverry, nicknamed El Diablo, joined D.C. United of Major League Soccer in its inaugural season of 1996, and led the team to three MLS Cups and was named MLS MVP in 1998. In eight years with the team, Etcheverry played 191 league games, scoring 34 goals and registering 101 assists (the games and assists are DC records). He retired at the end of the 2003 season. In 2005, he was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI. Etcheverry was trained at Bolivia's Tahuichi Academy, after which he played professionally with Bolivian sides (Destroyers, Bolivar, Oriente Petrolero), Spain (Albacete), Chile (Colo-Colo), Colombia (América de Cali) and Ecuador (Barcelona, Emelec). Etcheverry compiled 71 caps and scored 13 goals for the Bolivian national team between 1989 and 2003[1]. He played for them in the 1994 World Cup, where he is remembered most for getting sent off just minutes after entering the tournament's opening game against Germany. However, he was a critical part of Bolivia's qualifying campaign for that tournament, scoring an especially vital goal to help Bolivia beat Brazil. The Bolivian Congress awarded him with the Medal of Merit, for his sport achievements, in April 2006, shortly after his retirement, and in a match between players of the Bolivia national team and the Friends of America team of players of the Americas. On September 23, 2006, Etcheverry was honored at a home game against the New York Red Bulls. During halftime he was put up on the "D.C. United Tradition of Excellence" sign in the stadium. The only other person on that wall is John Harkes. After all of this Etcheverry walked over to the La Barra Brava part of the stadium and did his trademark clap in front of them, he would do after every game win or lose. On October 20, 2007, Etcheverry was honored with a tribute match at RFK Stadium, prior to United's regular-season finale vs. Columbus. Etcheverry is the first United player to be so honored. Etcheverry, playing with teammates from the club's 1997 MLS Cup winning side, defeated Hollywood United (a collection of former players and actors), 2-1, with Etcheverry drawing and scoring the winning penalty in the final minute.