Corona honored as Mexico’s top club rookie

Corona (Getty Images)

Joe Corona appears destined for a big 2012 as he continues to contribute for Club Tijuana while becoming a bigger part of the U.S. national team set-up. All of that is on the heels of what was just recognized as a pretty sharp 2011.

The 21-year-old Corona won the Golden Ball as Mexico's top rookie, beating out finalists Alfonso Luna (Atlante), Armando Zamorano (Jaguares) and Hector Herrera (Pachuca) to take home the award.

Corona helped Tijuana to Mexico's top flight last spring, scoring a goal and assisting on another in the definitive playoff triumph over Irapuato. He maintained that momentum at the start of the Mexican Apertura season, scoring goals in each of Tijuana's first two games in the Primera Division. He went on to contribute as a part-time starter the rest of the way, finally catching the eye of U.S. Soccer after playing for the Mexican Under-22 national team during the summer.

Corona was not present at the Balon de Oro festivities in Mexico Monday night, as he is currently in camp with the U.S. Under-23 national team in Carson, Calif., continuing to build his case to be an integral part of the Olympic qualifying process.

What do you make of this development? Expecting big things from Corona this year?

Share your thoughts below.

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12 Responses to Corona honored as Mexico’s top club rookie

  1. AJ says:

    This hadn’t occured to be before now, but why is Joe Corona with the US when the rest of the Mexican based players were not available?

  2. I assume it depends on whether the club would send him. Apparently Tijuana thought the exposure/experience was worth losing a little time with the club considering he’s not a fulltime starter? Or maybe it had to do with him being a youth player? Not sure. Good question, hope we get a real answer

  3. louis z says:

    because is so close to the border. he is in camp but leaves for weekend games. he is back with the U23 and probably will be playing today.

  4. john says:

    You’re right, 2 hour (3 w/ traffic) drive from Carson to TJ.

  5. Tomas says:

    I don’t know a lot about this cat but how cool is it that he won ROY in Mexico? We need an attacking wing player too. It’s a little nervy that he’s elibible to play for the US, El Salvador, or Mexico. He hasn’t been capped for the US yet, so he’s still up for grabs I believe. Lastly, how cool is his name? It’s almost a made-up name for an ad-campaign.

    Felicidades, Joe. Well done.

  6. RK says:

    Wow! Quite an accomplishment.

  7. Jamie says:

    Can someone explain his game to me, I have yet to see the cat play.

  8. Dale says:

    He has good technical skill and reminds me of Jose Torres style of play, Corona was called up for Mexico’s U-23 side before the Copa America and the Pan-American games but failed to consolidate himself because of Mexico’s deep and talented pool of youth products. So the USA is now his best option, I don’t mind having him because he is a promising talent. He is fast, technically gifted, and can score.

  9. abc says:

    I have only seen him play once and while his game is decent what I really love is his name!

  10. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Always difficult to compare different players styles, but I don’t see Corona as a JFT style player. He’s not a 2nd line midfielder, which JFT is (despite what Klinsman thinks).
    Corona reminds me of a quicker Benny F. style of player, but certainly more an AMF than a holding midfielder or winger.

  11. Lost in Space says:

    His best position is probably as a Withdrawn striker/Atacking Midfielder, but has seen time as a wing midfielder at the club level. He has speed, technical ability, and a bit of a nose for goal. Pancho’s comments regarding similar to Benny Feilhaber are pretty accurate. Regardless, he’s a decent young talent who could be that Super-Sub that Benny was in the 2010 WC.

  12. Sippin on bubbs says:

    His game is light and refreshing, conjuring memories of sitting quietly by the sea watching the waves roll in