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Joe Corona. Photo credit: Screen shot, mlssoccer.com

San Diego Loyal SC has announced the acquisition of midfielder Joe Corona, a South Bay native who last played in Europe.

“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 Loyal head coach Nate Miller. 

Corona, a Sweetwater High School graduate, joins the 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’s Houston Dynamo, where he played in 30 matches and logged 1,732 minutes during the 2021 season.

The local Player of the Year in 2008 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 before being sold to the LA Galaxy in March of 2019.

Before the start of the 2021 MLS season, Corona signed on with Houston Dynamo.

Corona also has extensive international experience with the U.S. Men’s National Team as part of the 2013 and 2017 Gold Cup championship teams. Corona made his debut with the senior national team in May 2012.