Alen Marcina, right, is shown with Marvin Chavez, who represented Honduras in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 – In the last decade, Alen Marcina has parlayed his professional-soccer playing career into a championship-winning coaching career in the pro ranks.
His next steps will come as the Des Moines Menace’s head coach.
Marcina, who led the San Antonio Scorpions to the 2014 North American Soccer League title, has accepted the role as field general for a Premier Development League team entering its 25th season.
“We are pleased to welcome Alen Marcina to Des Moines,” Menace owner Kyle Krause said. “With Alen as our head coach, the coming season has a lot of exciting potential for the Menace, and I think we’re poised for bigger, better things in the years to come.”
The Menace’s newest addition cut his coaching teeth as an assistant with the Scorpions for their first season in 2012. He was promoted to interim head coach in the fall of 2013, and he was the Scorpions’ head coach for their final two seasons. The franchise’s highlight came Nov. 15, 2014, when the host Scorpions defeated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1, in the NASL Soccer Bowl.
In January 2016, Marcina became the head coach for another NASL team – Rayo OKC, an Oklahoma City franchise that lasted just one season.
As a journeyman striker from 2002 to 2009, Marcina accumulated more than 70 goals in nearly 200 career matches. He saw action with 14 teams in seven countries – his native Canada, Greece, Iceland, Germany, Denmark, the United States (including two stints in Puerto Rico) and New Zealand.
His playing days included time in 2007 with the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps – United Soccer League First Division teams that have since made the jump to Major League Soccer.
“I have been blessed to serve in multiple roles throughout my career, from a professional player to a professional coach,” Marcina said. “These experiences have set the foundation to understand winning formulas. My purpose is to serve players and staff, so that they can become the best they can be by creating an environment that empowers each member.
“I’m excited to collaborate with staff in assembling a committed team with high character. Our goals are to connect with the community, build the current culture of excellence and compete for championships. I look forward to sharing some great experiences with our fans.”
Marcina is starting to recruit a lineup that will work to extend the Menace’s streak of four straight appearances in the PDL Playoffs. The team’s open tryout is set for April 22 at Valley Stadium, and the Menace will announce its 2018 PDL schedule next week.
“Alen has a great reputation for identifying top talent and developing the social, psychological, physical and tactical attributes of players,” said Menace general manager Tiley Nunnink. “In addition, he is very well-versed in managing the physiological aspects of players, which is extremely important in the condensed PDL season. We want to ensure players return to their college teams in good health, refreshed and ready to play.”
Menace welcomes Tiley Nunnink back as GM (Jan. 11, 2018)
Menace’s John Pascarella accepts MLS coaching role with Minnesota (Dec. 21, 2017)
Born: July 30, 1979, in Surrey, B.C., Canada
Wife: Melissa (married May 8, 2008)
Children: daughters Nela (nine) and Myla (four)
Education: Barry University (B.A. in physical education, 2002); St. Leo University (pursuing M.B.A. with a specialization in sports business)
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Preparing for its 25th season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). Entering its seventh season, the Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). With loyal support, the Menace men’s and women’s teams play their home games at the Valley Stadium in West Des Moines to provide family-fun entertainment. The Menace organization provides the growth of the game of soccer in Iowa with their youth soccer programs, including Junior Menace (ages 3-9), Menace Youth Academy (ages six and older), and youth tournaments, camps and clinics.