"I'm happy everything worked out in the end," said Corrales, 31, who played for the Clash and original Quakes in San Jose and also for the MetroStars in a nine-year stint. "I think the timing is right. Being away for three years, it was time to come home."
Corrales played three seasons for coach Frank Yallop (2001-3) before Yallop left MLS to coach the Canadian national team. Two of those were championship seasons and Yallop is also pleased Corrales has worked his way back into the U.S. national team, playing in a 2-0 victory over Sweden in January and a 2-2 tie against Mexico last week.
"He just played two games for the national team," says Yallop, who plans to use Corrales in the middle of midfield, at least at first. "He's a true professional, 31 years old. It's great for us and we're excited to have him.
"He makes a huge difference. Where he plays is usually up to where the team needs him but somewhere in the middle to start with, just to have that strength and experience and the possession game he has."
Unofficially, about 30 players attended training Thursday, a day after the Quakes lost to the Dynamo, 1-0, in the first of their two exhibition meetings this spring. Former Quakes Ryan Cochrane and Joe Cannon are familiar to San Jose fans, but a few MLS products are also with the club.
Ex-Rapids forward Fabrice Noel received permission from his current club, Puerto Rico of the USL, to show what he can do. He's shown quite a lot.
"Some of the guys we brought in, like this guy in the red shoes, has done OK," said Yallop of the Haitian striker who scored two goals in 16 games (three starts) for the Rapids in 2005 and 2006. "I've always liked Fabrice, I liked him at Colorado. So we'll see."
Another former Rapid, Eric Denton, is in camp to try to find a spot from those players Yallop claimed in the expansion draft or by trades: defender Nick Garcia, midfielders Joe Vide and Ned Grabavoy, forwards Gavin Glinton and Kei Kamara. Midfielder Shea Salinas, taken out of Furman in the second round of the SuperDraft, has looked sharp in training and played well against Houston.
In the Houston match, Yallop played former Rev James Riley at right back and Chris Pozniak, formerly of Toronto at left back while using 22 players. The pregame felt something like a reunion, with the Houston ex-Quakes chatting with the current members.
"It was good to see," said Yallop of sprited play against the two-time league champion coached by his former assistant, Dominic Kinnear. "When the guys came out of the locker room, we and all the guys from Houston kind of remembered the nights at Spartan. The new guys don't know that, but hopefully we can have that in Santa Clara."
The Quakes will play three seasons at Buck Shaw Stadium on the Santa Clara University campus while their stadium project unfolds.
After a rematch against Houston Saturday in San Francisco, the Quakes head south to San Luis Obispo for three games, including matches against Columbus and D.C. United next weekend. Yallop is eagerly awaiting the March 1 roster/salary cap compliance date to scoop up players other teams discard.
"You want to try and get guys from MLS if you can," says Yallop. "That's the best way. I hope we get through a lot of players. We'll move a few on, maybe keep them in our books and tell them we might invite them back.
"We know teams are going to waive some players. That's an important time for us, probably. We'll see what's out there."
MLS Preseason Previews
Jan. 28 -- Real Salt Lake
Jan. 29 -- D.C. United
Jan. 30 -- New England
Jan. 31 -- Columbus
Feb. 1 -- FC Dallas
Feb. 5 -- Chicago
Feb. 6 -- Kansas City
Feb. 7 -- Chivas USA
Feb. 8 -- New York
Feb. 11 -- Colorado
Feb. 12 -- Toronto FC
Feb. 13 -- Houston
Feb. 14 -- Los Angeles