Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Vacation can wait for Corona
by Paul Kennedy, June 10th, 2013 4:29AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team, mexico

MOST COMMENTED

By Paul Kennedy

One thing has become very apparent about the U.S. national team during this World Cup 2014 qualifying cycle: it pays to be flexible.

Brad Evans, hero of the 2-1 win over Jamaica on Friday, is an extreme example.

Says Sigi Schmid, his coach with the U.S. under-20 national team, Columbus Crew and now Seattle Sounders, "I've played Brad at center forward. I've played Brad at center back. I've played him at right midfield, left midfield, central midfield and outside back."

It's there, on the right side, that Evans has started the last two games and should start on Tuesday against Panama in World Cup qualifying.

Except for a few games during one of his long stints in England, Eddie Johnson has been a forward all his career, but there are few opportunities on the national team, which usually plays with one forward -- and that's Jozy Altidore.

Playing on the outside was something Johnson and Schmid talked about when he returned to MLS with the Sounders in 2012. "When he came to us," says Schmid, "he said, "Hey, I can play on the outside, but it's a lot of running, coach."

That attitude might not have kept Johnson out of the lineup with the Sounders, but he wasn't going to last long on the national team after getting called up by Jurgen Klinsmann if he wasn't willing to play anywhere.

"When he got the callup with Jurgen to come into the national team," says Schmid, "one of the things we talked about is you have to do whatever he asks you to do. It's your opportunity, and you don't want to say you can't do this, you can't do that, and take away a chance for yourself to get back into the mix."

Johnson led the USA to a key 2-1 win at Antigua & Barbuda with a pair of goals and has been in the mix ever since.

Young Joe Corona knows flexibility is his best chance of breaking into the starting lineup. Certainly, it's been a long wait.

He's the only field player currently with the team who hasn't played for the national team in 2013, and he played 26 minutes in three brief appearances in 2012 -- one minute in the 3-1 win over Guatemala in October cap-tied him to the USA -- after getting called up following a strong showing on the U.S. under-23 national team in Olympic qualifying.

He started out at right midfield for Mexican club Tijuana. He enjoyed his greatest success after moving into the central midfield, starting on Xolos' Liga MX Apertura championship team and throughout their first Libertadores Cup campaign that took them to the quarterfinals, but he now could get his first start for the USA back at right midfield in place of Graham Zusi, who is suspended for Tuesday's game.

"When I first started playing with Xolos, that was my position," says Corona. "Then I was moved into the middle, but I am familiar with that position. I am comfortable."

The second youngest player on the team at the age of 22, Corona says he hasn't received any specific guidance from the U.S. coaching staff if he plays against Panama.

"I'll give my all, run, defend, play with my heart," he says. "I'm just waiting for the opportunity."

He thinks his play with Xolos got the attention of the national team coaches and accelerated his development.

"I still have a lot to learn a lot of thing," he said. "I'm young and learning every day. But I'm very mature on the field and learned ways to get around."

Corona hasn't had an extended break in more than a year -- not that he's complaining.

He came back from last June's set of national team games right into Xolos' preseason training camp in Mazatlan in mid-June and played 39 games in league play (regular season and playoffs) and the Libertadores Cup. Participation in the Libertadores Cup meant Xolos' spring season extended almost four weeks after they wrapped up league play.

"I've had no vacation at all," he says. "But I'm happy to be here. Anybody would give anything to be a part of this as opposed to be on vacation."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Amercan soccer looks pretty good while looking back at past failures    
If you didn't see it, please check out the excellent story written by my friend and ...
World Cup is opportunity personified for game in Canada    
Just playing in the World Cup, which Canada hasn't done in more than 30 years, would ...
U.S. women strengthen their influence and power with new CBA deal    
Once the U.S. women's players had wrested control of their destinies away from a hired gun, ...
Three MLS teams in need of answers -- quickly    
The Union has yet to establish itself as a threat in the Eastern Conference, and after ...
Dempsey: Qualifying for the World Cup is bigger than breaking scoring records    
In his bid to "stay relevant" and in the plans of national team head coach Bruce ...
Bruce Arena makes the USA fun to watch    
Before Friday's game against Honduras, I wondered whether the U.S. national team would bring joy to ...
Michael Bradley: USA prepared 'to tilt the bar in our favor' early against Honduras    
As they train in San Jose for a crucial Hexagonal match against Honduras on Friday, the ...
Next move for Real Salt Lake is the most crucial in a decade    
The history of RSL is one of remarkable stability -- just three head coaches since starting ...
U.S. roster announcement: Bruce Arena's return marked by a singleness of purpose    
Multiply the left-back debate with a few more positions each with several candidates and you'll have ...
Quakes encouraged but not giddy after impressive opener    
Four seasons without playoffs has left the fervent fans in San Jose discouraged, but a ray ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives