As our San Jose Earthquakes advent calendar reaches its final week its a sad moment. I am really enjoying talking about the culture that surrounds the Quakes because it is such a rich and deep culture and a story that needs to be shared. But we must move on. Behind today’s door is an Earthquakes legend from Northern California: Ramiro Corrales, better known as El Capitan, graduate North Salinas High School in my hometown of Salinas.
El Capitan joined the Earthquakes in 1996 after a successful stint with the California Jaguars of the old USL before the American soccer pyramid was condensed into the form it is today. As a defender, Corrales’s statistics may not immediately stand out but any supporter of the Earthquakes in the last couple of decades knows how valuable he was to the squad. The present Earthquakes would be a much different squad without El Capitan. His 250 appearances for the Earthquakes ranks second all-time behind another legend, Chris Wondolowski. When he retired in 2013, he was the last player still playing in MLS that was there in the league’s inaugural season in 1996.
Corrales is now a member of the San Jose Earthquakes and Salinas Valley Sports Hall of Fame and continues to work on and around the soccer pitch.