Rapids Alumni Marcelo Balboa and Glenn Myernick to Participate in US State Dept. Outreach in Africa

CHICAGO (US Soccer Official Release) — U.S. Soccer has joined forces with the U.S. State Department to take part in a Sports Envoy program that will see players and coaches from U.S. Soccer’s National Teams travel abroad to conduct clinics and bring a direct educational message to as many as 4000 citizens of Bahrain Nigeria South Africa and Uganda.

The Sports Envoy initiative will serve as the first program in U.S. Soccer’s own International Relations Program established earlier this summer to help strengthen the organization’s ties within the worldwide soccer community. The four-part program runs from Sept. 13 to Oct. 14.

Each Sports Envoy program includes one male and one female coach and/or player. U.S. Soccer will be represented in these upcoming trips by three members of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup Team coaching staff: Glenn Myernick Curt Onalfo and Phil Wheddon. Additionally 2005 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee and three-time World Cup veteran Marcelo Balboa will take part in the envoy.

Recently retired U.S. Women’s National Team star Cindy Parlow will be joined by fellow 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup veterans Shannon MacMillan and Tiffany Roberts as well as former U.S. assistant coach Lauren Gregg.

The players and coaches will conduct clinics that will go beyond simple soccer drills and will also showcase team-building activities that will give the youth participants an opportunity to engage in dialogue with the American players and coaches. One of the important platforms of the program will see the U.S. coaches and players emphasizing the values of teamwork respect and leadership.

Each Sports Envoy will be on the ground for four days in their respective countries performing three clinics per country that target approximately 450 boys and girls aged 7 to 17.

The schedule for U.S. Soccer’s representatives in the "Sports Envoy" program follows:


Dates Country Participants
Sept. 13-20 South Africa: Glenn Myernick Shannon MacMillan
Sept. 18-23 Bahrain: Phil Wheddon Cindy Parlow
Oct. 8-13 Uganda: Curt Onalfo Tiffany Roberts
Oct. 8-14 Nigeria: Marcelo Balboa Lauren Gregg

Check out exclusive photos of Marcelo's trip to Nigeria below!