On this day 17 years ago, the Quakes re-signed a player that proved to be one of the most important and influential competitors in team history. Originally joining the team after graduating from North Salinas High, Ramiro Corrales had three stints with the Quakes during his long career, and the signing on April 3, 2001 marked the start of the second.
The Quakes legend is one of the 11 new inductees into the Salinas Valley Sports Hall of Fame. He will officially join during a ceremony on Aug. 25 at the Salinas Storm House next to Rabobank Stadium. This induction will be the second of Corrales’ career, as he entered the Earthquakes Hall of Fame on Sept. 5, 2015.
A defender by trade, he first joined the Quakes in 1996 at just 18 years old. During the following two seasons with San Jose, he appeared in 25 games and provided a goal and an assist.
He played elsewhere in MLS from 1998 through 2000, but returned in 2001 and signed a multiyear contract with the Quakes on April 3. In the coming seasons, he was a key member in the club’s most successful stint in MLS history, helping San Jose win the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cups.
He was a staple in the starting XI from 2002 until 2004, and in 2002, he recorded career-high goals and assists with three and nine. Following four successful seasons in San Jose, he went to Europe to play in Norway.
Third Time’s a Charm
Upon his return from Europe, he joined the Quakes for the third and final time on Feb. 14, 2008, and stayed with the club until his retirement in 2013.
At the time of his retirement, he was the only remaining active player in MLS from the inaugural 1996 season.
In his last game ever with the Quakes on Oct. 26, 2013, he was substituted in the 69th minute and carried off the pitch by his teammates while receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.
As he left the pitch, he passed on his captain's armband to Chris Wondolowski in a move that was not only practical, but also symbolic. Wondolowski has served as the Quakes captain since then.
“Two MLS Cups, Olympic Team and U.S. Men’s National Team; when your career is winding down you almost forget to take a step back and look at all of your accomplishments,” Corrales said following the match. “That’s why I felt it was time for me to retire. This season didn’t go the way we all would have hoped for, but we still had a heck of a season. I leave the field today with my head held high. I am so proud of this team and our fans for fighting until the end. I thank the Earthquakes for the best 12 years of my life.”
In his entire Quakes career, Corrales played 250 games, made 228 starts and played 20,199 minutes. He was the leader in the Quakes record book in these categories, and was only surpassed by Wondolowski in the 2017 season.
He also still ranks in the Quakes top 10 for shots (No. 3 with 270), shots on goal (No. 5 with 88) and assists (No. 6 with 32),