U.S. international comes home to add versatility at midfield
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 18, 2023) – San Diego Loyal SC announced today it has signed midfielder Joe Corona, pending league and federation approval. The San Diego native joins the club ahead of the upcoming 2023 USL Championship season.
“Joe is a massive signing for San Diego. Bringing in his leadership, experience, and ability to help us get to the next level was a priority for us this off-season,” said SD Loyal Head Coach Nate Miller. “Joe fits perfectly into our team, and how we play football. It will be very special for him to come and play in his hometown and extremely exciting for our excellent fan base to welcome him home. We are building a team to give us the ability to win a championship and Joe is a very important piece of that project.”
Corona, a Sweetwater High School graduate, joins SD Loyal after spending last season in Sweden playing for GIF Sundsvall of the Allsvenskan, the country’s first division league. The midfielder played in 25 matches for GIF Sundsvall, logging 1,832 minutes. He was there on loan from Major League Soccer side Houston Dynamo, where he played in 30 matches and logged 1,732 minutes during the 2021 season.
The 2008 Union-Tribune Player of the Year and first-team All CIF selection, Corona played one season at San Diego State University after capturing the 2007-2008 San Diego Section Championship with Sweetwater.
After his freshman season at SDSU, Corona went on trial with Club Tijuana and signed his first professional contract with the Xolos. He made his pro debut with Tijuana when the team was part of Liga de Ascenso, the Mexican second division. Corona led Tijuana into promotion to LIGA MX in 2011 and went on to become a regular in the Xolos’ lineup, scoring the club’s first goal in LIGA MX during the 2011 Apertura. Corona went on to win a league title with Tijuana in 2012. He was sent on loan to Mexican sides Veracruz and Sinaloa before returning to Tijuana in 2018. He was then sent on loan to Club America, where he won another LIGA MX title in the 2018 Apertura.
Corona returned to Club Tijuana for a third time in 2019 where he played sparingly in the LIGA MX and Copa MX tournaments, finishing with 185 appearances and 12 goals in his overall time with Tijuana before being sold to LA Galaxy in March of 2019. The midfielder scored a pair of goals in his 47 matches with LA from 2019 to 2020. Before the start of the 2021 MLS season, Corona signed on with Houston Dynamo.
Corona also has extensive international experience with the United States Men’s National Team. The midfielder was part of the 2013 and 2017 Gold Cup championship teams. He appeared in five of the team’s six matches and scored two goals to help the U.S. win the 2013 Gold Cup. In the 2017 Gold Cup, he scored a goal during the group stage. The midfielder was also part of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers playing in his first official match against Guatemala. Corona made his debut with the senior national team in May 2012. He had been part of the U.S. Under-23 squad in 2012. Prior to that, Corona had been called by Mexico’s Under-23 team in 2011 and played in one unofficial match with El Tri before making the switch to represent the United States soon after.
Name: Joe Benny Corona Crespín
Weight: 161 lbs.
Birthday: July 9, 1990
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
SD Loyal 2023 Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now starting at just $18 per match. Tickets can be purchased by calling (858) 465-GOAL or by visiting sdloyal.com/tickets.