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Earthquakes' Corrales to retire at season's end

The Sports Network

10/15/2013 2:05:55 PM

Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Earthquakes announced Tuesday that longtime captain Ramiro Corrales will retire at the conclusion of the 2013 season.

Corrales, 36, is the last remaining player in MLS to appear in a match during the league's inaugural season in 1996.

"It's been an honor playing much of my career here in San Jose," Corrales said. "I have a lot of great memories, from that first season in 1996 to the MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003 to the expansion season in 2008. It's been a great ride and I'd like to thank everybody - fans, players, coaches - for their support along the way."

Corrales currently sits as San Jose's all-time leader in games played (249), starts (227) and minutes played (20,117), but is also No. 4 in Earthquakes history with 32 assists and No. 11 with 16 goals.

"Ramiro was a phenomenal player and one of the best this club has ever had," said Earthquakes general manager John Doyle. "I think it was great to be able to play with Ramiro and see him mature from a 19-year-old kid to a grown man. His contributions over the years have meant a lot to this organization."

Corrales was drafted 81st overall by the Columbus Crew in the 1996 Inaugural Player Draft but was immediately traded to the San Jose Clash. He played two seasons with the Clash before joining the Miami Fusion via the 1997 Expansion Draft, but only managed one appearance with the club.

The Salinas, Calif., native was dealt early in the 1998 season to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars where he helped the team reach the MLS Cup Playoffs in 1998 and 2000.

Corrales made his return to San Jose in 2001 and guided the club to its most successful stint in franchise history, helping the club to MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003. He enjoyed a stint in Europe from 2004 to 2007 with Norwegian sides Hamarkameratene and SK Brann before returning to San Jose for good in 2008.