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Meet the New Guys: Joe Corona

A veteran presence with LigaMX and national team experience, what will Corona add to Tab Ramos’ Dynamo in 2021?

Vancouver Whitecaps v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Previous Club: LA Galaxy

Acquired by: Selected by the Houston Dynamo in Stage Two of the 2020 MLS Re-Entry Draft, after Austin FC and Corona were unable to come to an agreement from being selected in the Expansion Draft

Position: Midfielder

Houston Dynamo continue to increase depth for a midfield that has lacked it in the past. Adding Joe Corona into the mix, the team will attempt to solidify the center of the field and look to add ball control and vision as well. “We brought in Joe Corona, who can be the 6 or the 8” said Tab Ramos in an interview with Glenn Davis in early January. “If we want to be more offensive, Joe, can play the 6 or 8 (position) with a more attacking, distributor type of player.”

The American and Los Angeles native started his professional career with the young Mexican team Club Tijuana. After spending a few months with the reserves, he made his professional debut for Club Tijuana in 2010. He quickly gained a spot in the first team as the club fought for promotion to Liga MX. Joe was a vital piece for Xolos in Apertura 2012 as they would become champions after defeating Toluca in the finals. Eventually, he found himself being loaned out to Veracruz, Dorados de Sinaloa, and Club America before being sold to LA Galaxy were he spent two seasons with his hometown team.

The success at club level for Joe Corona earned him time with the USMNT, earnings 23 caps and scoring 3 goals for the Yanks while also winning two CONCACAF Gold Cups (2013 & 2017).

What does he bring to the Dynamo?

Corona, 30, brings plenty of experience, having played nearly 350 club matches including in the league, national cup and CONCACAF Champions League.

Early in his career he played in wide, attacking roles but as of late he has been part of the midfield in 4-3-3 systems. This makes his game suitable to fit in Tab Ramos’ formation in any of the three available midfield positions.

Toronto FC v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

The 30-year-old will bring ball control and vision to a team’s midfield that has lacked it. Long gone is the counterattack minded scheme of the past, therefore Corona will have the opportunity to compete in Tab’s system of playing with the ball at feet instead of chasing the ball around and giving the opponent the ball for 90% of the match. However, players like Memo Rodriguez, Matias Vera, Darwin Ceren and Derrick Jones will all be competing for a starting role in Houston’s midfield. Time will tell if the team adds any Designated Players in 2021, but from what Ramos has mentioned in the past, it is very doubtful a big number 10 will be added to the roster.

Where do you see Corona positionally on the field? Box-to-box number 8? Playing as a versatile number 6? Let us know your thoughts.