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Considering what San Jose fullback Ramiro Corrales has accomplished

Apr 20, 2012, 10:56 AM EDT

San Jose Earthquakes v Toronto FC Getty Images

Opinions are typically divided on San Jose left back Ramiro Corrales.

He’s exposed for speed at times, and at age 35 that shouldn’t come as a whopper of a shocker to anyone.

But generally, his veteran smarts and vast experience keep him out of trouble along the Earthquakes’ back line, which has been rebuilt this year around steady Honduran international Victor Bernardez and is generally on top of things in 2012.

San Jose is near the top of the Western Conference standings; allowing just four goals in six games (and two of those while on the road against an offensively stacked New York Red Bulls) will do that for you.

Corrales contributes a lot to the Earthquakes’ attack. He already has two assists for San Jose. Over an entire season, that rate would put him in the 8-10 neighborhood. For a fullback, that is one beautiful, tree-lined and tony neighborhood.

All that experience tells Corrales just when he should and shouldn’t expend energy moving up the left flank. So even when Corrales is not adding to his career assist total, he can be quite savvy in turning up ways to contribute to the attack around Buck Shaw.

So let’s take a quick minute to pour some respect for Corrales. Today, he is one of just two MLS originals still in the game. As of yesterday, officially speaking, Corrales, Frankie Hejduk and Zach Thornton were the only players still listed on the registers who had participated in that original, historic 1996 MLS season.

Thornton remains on the books as a backup goalie for Chivas USA, but he hasn’t played this year and got into just two matches last year.

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