Following the end of the 2013 MLS season, there will be no more player links to the league's inaugural 1996 campaign.
San Jose Earthquakes fullback Ramiro Corrales, the last remaining player from that first season, announced that he will be retiring at the end of the current campaign. Corrales began his career with the San Jose Clash and New York/New Jersey MetroStars before being dealt back to the rebranded Earthquakes in 2001. He won MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003 and tried his hand in Norway for four years before returning to the league in 2008.
He will retire as the franchise leader in games played (249), starts (227) and minutes played (20,117), and he won a Supporters' Shield in addition to his two MLS Cups.
“It’s been an honor playing much of my career here in San Jose,” Corrales said in a San Jose club statement. “I have a lot of great memories, from that first season in 1996 to the MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003 to the expansion season in 2008. It’s been a great ride and I’d like to thank everybody – fans, players, coaches – for their support along the way.”
Corrales also represented the USA six times, playing on the 2000 Olympic team that advanced to the semifinals and finished in fourth place in Australia.
“On behalf of the Earthquakes, I would like to thank Ramiro Corrales for his tremendous achievements with the club,” Earthquakes president Dave Kaval said. “Ramiro has literally grown up with this team, from its creation in 1996 to where we are now. He’s meant a great deal to the organization over the years and we wish him all the best in his post-playing career.”