GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Joe Benny Corona has been nominated as best newcomer in Mexico´s Balón de Oro awards for his performances for Club Tijuana during the Apertura 2011.
The 21-year-old Corona played more than 700 minutes last season in the Mexican league and made headlines when he scored Club Tijuana's first goal in the top flight in the first round of matches.
The San Diego native is up against Atlante's Alfonso Luna, Jaguares' Armando Zamorano and Héctor Herrera of Pachuca for the award.
The coach and captain of each first-division club chose the players for each category, with the winner to be voted on by a committee made up of players, coaches, journalists and people within the Mexican soccer federation. The awards ceremony will be held on Jan. 16.
Corona is currently with the US Under-23 squad in Florida at a training camp.
Corona, who is eligible to represent the US, Mexico and El Salvador internationally, has started preseason well, scoring a goal from outside of the penalty area on Wednesday against Ventura County of the United Soccer Leagues, in Tijuana´s 5-0 victory in Oxnard, Calif.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.