Monarch athletic director Mark Sibley found the boys soccer coach he wanted last summer. And Marcelo Balboa wanted to coach at Monarch.

The timing just wasn't quite right.

Ten months later, though, Balboa is ready, and Sibley is still thrilled to have him. MHS hired the former United States and Colorado Rapids great last week to revive its struggling program.

"I kept him on the radar and let him know that he was our guy," Sibley said of the past several months on Saturday. "I'm just really excited about the future of soccer at Monarch."

Sibley was in a tough spot in May of last year after coach David Stansbury's arrest on suspicion of Internet sexual exploitation of a child left him with little time to find a replacement before the 2011 season.

Former MLS star Marcelo Balboa was hired last week to coach the Monarch High boys soccer team.
Former MLS star Marcelo Balboa was hired last week to coach the Monarch High boys soccer team. ( JOSHUA LAWTON )

Sibley thought he'd struck gold when Balboa applied. But Balboa, who played in three World Cups for the U.S., had just taken a post as executive director of Lafayette-based Trebol Soccer Club and wasn't sure he would be able to juggle two new gigs at once.

"I kind of knew I wanted to do this," said Balboa, a longtime Superior resident. "Before I said yes I wanted to make sure I could (give the Monarch job the effort it deserved)."

With the season rapidly approaching, Sibley opted to promote assistant coach Jason Cook on an interim basis for last fall.

Balboa, meanwhile, got rolling with Trebol the way he wanted to. He also made sure he had the club's blessing when it came time to decide about the Monarch job again this spring.

"It's exciting to be able to work with a bunch of young kids and be able to give back, especially to the community where I've lived since (the late 1990s)," Balboa said.

Sibley said there is already buzz about Balboa in the hallways at Monarch, which has gone 10-33-2 over the past three seasons since the resignation of Keith Mainland, who started the Coyote program and had turned it into a regular playoff contender by 2008.

In Balboa, MHS gets a coach who was the first American player to notch 100 caps for the national team. He spent six seasons with the Colorado Rapids, and now does color commentary for Rapids games on Altitude in addition to a weekly soccer talk show on Mile High Sports Radio.

In April, he was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

Balboa has two sons, Nicolas and Owen. Nicolas, who plays for his dad on a Trebol U14 team, is the oldest and will be a freshman at Monarch in the fall. But Balboa said his older son might end up playing football for the Coyotes rather than soccer.

Either way, Marcelo Balboa is excited about his new opportunity -- and for more reasons than just the chance to turn the Coyotes program around. Ever since his playing days, Balboa said he's had a passion for staying involved.

"For me, it's going to be more about coaching the kids and seeing them progress over four years into young men and good human beings," Balboa said.

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