After several impressive displays with the United States U-23 team during their failed Olympic qualification bid last month, Joe Corona has been tapped by many to be a future USMNT star.
While those predictions always seem to come too soon for youth players in the U.S. system, his four goals in two and a half games during group play were certainly impressive.
Corona’s hat trick v. Cuba
Here are seven things you might not have known about Corona.
Corona has represented Mexico on the international level
Corona received a call-up to represent the Mexican U-22 team at the 2011 Pan-American games and played for El Tri in a friendly against Chile, but did not make Mexico’s final roster for the tournament.
Corona is actually eligible to represent three nations on the international level
Corona, born in Los Angeles, California, is the son of a Mexican father and a Salvadoran mother making him eligible to represent the United States, Mexico or El Salvador internationally.
Ironically, Corona’s goal in the U.S.’s 3-3 draw with El Salvador during Olympic qualifying almost eliminated El Salvador from the competition.
Corona’s parents and club coach prefer he plays for Mexico internationally
According to an article published on espn.com by Jeff Carlisle, both of Corona’s parents and his coach at Club Tijuana prefer Corona represent El Tri.
Corona plays in the Mexican Primera, but lives in the United States
Corona, who plays for Club Tijuana in the Mexican Primera, actually lives with his parents in San Diego, where he grew up, and travels across the border each day for training and games.
Corona scored Club Tijuana’s first goal in the Mexican Primera
After gaining promotion into the Primera with his club, Club Tijuana, Corona scored the team’s first goal in Mexico’s top division on July 23, 2011.
Club Tijuana’s first-ever goal in the Mexican Primera via Joe Corona
Corona’s first full national team call-up for the United States occurred under Bob Bradley
Shortly before being fired, Bob Bradley announced his roster for the August 2011 friendly against Mexico and included Joe Corona as one of his call-ups.
Jurgen Klinsmann, after being appointed Bradley’s replacement, named a new roster and did not included Corona.
Corona has yet to make his full international debut for the United States.
Corona dropped out of college and went pro to help provide for his family
Shortly before Corona’s sophomore season at San Diego State, where he was on a partial scholarship, his sister suffered a stroke. Corona’s parents could no longer afford to pay for Joe’s education and he made the fateful decision to try and go pro.
After attending an open tryout for Club Tijuana, Corona was offered the opportunity to turn soccer into his profession and took it.
John D. Halloran