Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By MIKE DONOVAN
Ramiro Corrales, who is the last active MLS player who took part in the league’s inaugural season in 1996, announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of this season. The 36-year-old midfielder was the 81st pick in the original MLS draft and has played in 306 league matches. While he would have liked to play another season, Corrales said his body was telling him to call it quits.
“It’s a struggle every morning just to practice,” Corrales told the Mercury News.
The Salinas, Calif. native received six caps by the U.S. National team over a 12-year span (1996 to 2008) and won the MLS Cup twice while playing for San Jose.
Here are some more notes from around the Western Conference:
The Goats took on the New Zealand National team on Saturday in a friendly and the match with the All Whites finished in a 0-0 draw. Next up for Chivas USA, who are in last-place in the Western Conference, is a midweek match on Oct. 23rd at Real Salt Lake. New Zealand, meanwhile, is preparing for a home-and-home playoff with Mexico for a spot in the 2013 World Cup.
Brian Mullan, who has played in more than 300 MLS matches in his 13 seasons, is contemplating retirement when the 2013 season concludes. The Colorado native hasn’t played since July and has been dealing with knee problems.
“I’ve definitely thought about it,” Mullan told the league’s site. “I can’t say I want my career to end like this, but yeah, I’ve thought about it. I think I’d like to play one more year, maybe, and end it on a better note. Just go into it understanding what my role is.”
When FC Dallas lost to the Chicago Fire on Saturday, the club was eliminated from playoff contention and was missing a familiar face in the starting lineup. George John, who had started the club’s last 11 matches, was not in the gameday 18 after sustaining a knee injury during training.
“Yeah, he said his knee was hurting. We kept him out of practice last couple days and yesterday we took him to a run. He said he didn’t think he could go,” head coach Schellas Hyndman said to the Dallas Morning News’ Soccer blog.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
The LA Galaxy spent last Friday away from the training ground and on the golf course, taking part in a golf tournament sponsored by the club’s charitable foundation.
“Any money that we raise for our Foundation is going to go to some amazing causes that the LA Galaxy supports,” Galaxy President Chris Klein said on the club’s website. “They did a great job putting on this event, which is something that we can build on for the future.”
After an ankle injury kept Frederic Piquionne out of nine league matches, the forward made his return to the field in the Timbers 1-0 victory over Seattle. The former West Ham United player, who is tied for third on the Timbers with five assists, saw ten minutes of action Sunday.
“What I saw from him was good,” Porter said to the Oregonian. “He came on and worked hard. He’s a good player. As far as fitness, I think he’s good.”
REAL SALT LAKE
A bye week occurring in the last month of the season has given head coach Jason Kreis and Real Salt Lake the chance to have a “mini preseason.”
“The amount of work they put in and the spirit with which they did the work was second to none,” Kreis said to the Deseret News. “So I was really, really pleased with what we got out of last week, and (during) the first two training sessions this week the spirit has been terrific.”
In 2009, RSL turned a large break near the end of the regular season into a MLS Cup Championship.
Seattle was fined $5,000 by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for violating the league’s mass confrontation policy during the club’s 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers Sunday. The violation occurred after Osvaldo Alonso received a red card in the 74th minute of the match. Head coach Sigi Schmid was also fined $1,000 by the DC.
It is rare in sports for a team to win a trophy on a bye week, but that is exactly what happened for the Vancouver Whitecaps as they took home the Cascadia Cup, due to Portland’s victory over the Seattle Sounders. The result gave the Caps the Cup for the first time since Vancouver and Portland ascended to MLS for the beginning of the 2011 season.
“Definitely not as fun as winning it in person,” Caps captain Jay DeMerit said to the Province newspaper. “But winning a trophy nonetheless is great. It’s great for the club. It’s great for the fans of this club, who, ever since I’ve been here, have been waiting for this.”
What do you think of these notes? What are your memories of Corrales from the early years of MLS? Do you see RSL playing better coming off a bye week? Impressed that the Whitecaps won the Cascadia Cup?
Share your thoughts below.