Brandan Barkladge, Ramiro Corrales

San Jose stalwart Ramiro Corrales set to retire from Major League Soccer

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The last man standing from Major League Soccer’s inaugural campaign will retire at the end of the season, with San Jose’s Ramiro Corrales finally set to call it a career. The club made the news official this morning, announcing the 36-year-old’s ready to end a professional career that started in 1996.

Should the sixth place Earthquakes fail to jump into the West’s top five and secure a playoff spot, Corrales’s 18-season professional career will end Oct. 26 at Buck Shaw when San Jose hosts FC Dallas.

“It’s been an honor playing much of my career here in San Jose,” Corrales said, via a release distributed by San Jose. “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.”

Along that way, Corrales appeared in 15 Major League Soccer seasons, a run put on pause by a three-year stint in Norway from 2005-2007.  After returning to San Jose, the defender/midfielder ran his MLS career totals to 306 games played, 24,537 minutes, 16 goals and assists. Along the way, he won two league titles (2001, 2003), was part of a Supporters’ Shield winner in 2012, and won a Norweigan title with SK Brann in 2007.

“Ramiro was a phenomenal player and one of the best this club has ever had,” according to Earthquakes general manager John Doyle. “I think it was great to be able to play with Ramiro and see him mature from a 19-year-old kid to a grown man. His contributions over the years have meant a lot to this organization.”

That contribution will live on in the team’s record books. He is the San Jose’s all-time leader in games played (249), starts (227) and minutes (20,117). Combined with three seasons split between the Miami Fusion and MetroStars (1998-2000), Corrales’s career appearance total ranks 17th in league history.

While he was a significant contributor to San Jose’s 2012 success (recording seven assists in 22 games), Corrales has only made 11 appearances this season. In that sense, perhaps it was time for him to go. After all, San Jose’s depth chart won’t be thinning out any time soon.

Still, even at 36, Corrales had something left to give. If he’d stayed on for another season, we would have been able to contribute in some capacity. When healthy, he was still capable of doing a job.

But with today’s announcement, Corrales exercised the right few players get, one earned through 18 seasons of work. He gets to walk away of his own volition.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)