Last MLS original to call it quits: San Jose Earthquakes' Ramiro Corrales retiring at end of 2013

Ramiro Corrales

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The last remaining MLS original is calling it quits.

San Jose Earthquakes veteran Ramiro Corrales, who began his professional career in MLS' inaugural 1996 season, announced on Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the 2013 campaign.

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

The 36-year-old goes down as San Jose's all-time leader in games played (249), starts (227) and minutes played (20,117).

Corrales was selected No. 81 overall by the Columbus Crew in the first-ever MLS player draft in 1996 and the Salinas, Calif., native was immediately traded to San Jose.

He started the 1998 season with the Miami Fusion as an Expansion Draft pick but was soon traded to the MetroStars, where he spent a few seasons before rejoining San Jose in February 2001 just in time for the club's only MLS Cup championships (2001 and 2003).

Corrales, who also collected six US national team caps and was part of the US squad for the 2000 Olympics, tried his hand in Europe with Norwegian sides Hamarkameratene (2005-06) and SK Brann (2007), winning a league title in his only season with Brann.

He has since spent the last six seasons with the Quakes and he's hoping to lead them to another postseason appearance with one point separating the 2012 Supporters' Shield winners from a playoff berth in the West.