Joe Corona was on his way to Major League Soccer, but Club Tijuana had seen enough from him during a recent successful loan stint to be convinced to keep him with the Xolos, sources tell Goal USA.
The target of multiple MLS teams for a move ahead of the 2017 season, Corona was ready to make the move north, but will now stay in Mexico after signing a new multi-year deal to stay with the club that has owned his rights for his entire professional career.
Corona helped lead Dorados de Sinaloa to the Liga Ascenso title earlier this month, completing a solid campaign on loan with the team that shares owner ship with first-division Club Tijuana. He played well enough to convince Tijuana manager Miguel Herrera to bring him back after spending the past two years on loan.
A loan stint with Liga MX side Veracruz in 2015 had mixed results for the 26-year-old midfielder, and, after returning to Xolos briefly, he was loaned to Dorados for the fall season, which allowed Corona to add another Liga Ascenso title to his resume.
Corona will return to a Tijuana side that finished in first place in Liga MX during the Apertura season, but fell to a first-round playof exit in the Apertura playoffs. The Xolos have lost a pair of midfielders since the end of the Apertura, with Juan Carlos Medina reportedly set for a move within the league and Hector Villalba returning to Atlanta United after a loan spell.
Corona's versatility in midfield should prove beneficial for a team he has spent most of his career playing for, and the same team he helped climb from the lower divisions to Liga MX earlier in his career.
Corona was closing in on a deal to move to MLS next season, and was in discussions with an unidentified club in recent months. According to one source, D.C. United held his rights in MLS, but didn't have plans to sign him.