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Former Aztec Joe Corona Named Mexico's Top Rookie

Joe Corona won the newcomer of the year for Mexico's first division.
Joe Corona won the newcomer of the year for Mexico's first division.

Jan. 18, 2012

MEXICO CITY - Former San Diego State men's soccer player Joe Corona has been named the newcomer of the year for Mexico's first division, the Mexican federation announced yesterday. Corona beat out three other players for the coveted Balón de Oro (Golden Ball) award for the top newcomer.

"I'm very happy," Corona told the Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles (Club Tijuana) website. "I thank God for these good things he has given me in such a short time and it's motivating to know that great things can be achieved when there is determination, dedication and humility."

Corona helped lead the Xolos into the Mexico's top division last spring by scoring a goal and assisting on the eventual game-winner in a 2-1 win over Irapuato FC Saturday. He scored a goal each in the team's first two games of the first division and logged extensive minutes the rest of the season.

Corona was unable to attend the Balón de Oro ceremony, which was held in Mexico City, because he is currently training with the United States Under-23 National Team in Carson City, Calif., in its preparation for the 2012 Olympic qualifying stages.

Corona spent one year with San Diego State before joining the professional ranks, accumulating seven points in 2008 on three goals and an assist in just 501 minutes. A midfielder, he played in 15 matches, earning three starts.