Los Angeles Soccer: Armando Pulido

Galaxy eyes local talent in S.D. tie/loss

March, 3, 2011
SAN DIEGO -- David Beckham got his first game action of the preseason and set up a goal, and Landon Donovan scored one in a 90-minute performance, but maybe the best thing from the Galaxy's friendly Wednesday night against Club Tijuana was the Xoloitzcuintles' local hero.

Joe Corona, the 20-year-old winger out of National City and San Diego State, was superb in a 2-2 draw at the University of San Diego's Torero Stadium, and Bruce Arena noticed.

The Galaxy coach was asked afterward who he liked from the Xolos, and gushed about Corona.

“I think their No. 15,” he said. Told that No. 15 was from San Diego, had played at SDSU (as well as Sweetwater High School and for the lauded Nomads club), Arena was taken aback.

“He's a San Diego kid? Wow. Amazing,” he said. “Can we get him for the Galaxy? He's a good player.”

Tijuana might not want to give him up. He made a favorable impression as the Xolos romped to the second-tier Liga de Ascenso title in the fall, has been even better in the spring season and ought to be a pivotal figure on the team if it wins promotion to the Primera Division -- the league with America, Guadalajara, Cruz Azul and the like -- come May.

The notion of playing for L.A. doesn't sound too awful to Corona.

“That would be a great opportunity for me to play a different style of soccer,” he said. “It's always great we have these types of games, because we can show our talent, and we should have them more often. Because there's a lot of kids from down in Mexico that can come here and play, that have good quality soccer.”

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