Chivas USA 2012 Player Postmortem: Jose Correa

Correa: Scored some key goals. - Thearon W. Henderson

Today, we look at the first of a few strikers born in Colombia who played for Chivas USA this year.

Let me be up front about this: I thought Jose Correa was probably Chivas USA's second-most exciting player in 2012, behind only Miller Bolanos. He scored in two of his first three games with the Goats, and his youth (he's "20" years old) and his size make him a fascinating prospect. The sky looked the limit with this kid.

But like all of the forwards in Chivas' 2012 group, his numbers were abysmal. He only scored those two goals in mid-May in the league, then scored a brace in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal against the Charlotte Eagles, winning the player of the round award in the process. Four goals on a season isn't a great haul.

Correa's playing time dropped off a cliff after July. At the same time, Chivas went into a death spiral from August on. Coincidence? Probably, but I really think he deserved more time. In the end, it is hard to see if Correa is the real deal or if he's good for a handful of goals each year. My inclination is that he is the real deal, but again, we need to see him get a full season in order to know that.

Here are Correa's statistics this season:

Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS Regular Season 16 7 695 2 0 15 3 1 0
U.S. Open Cup 3 2 180 2 0 4 2 0 0
Total 19 9 875 4 0 19 5 1 0

Notably, every game that Correa scored in Chivas won or drew. He had two game-winners, and would have had a third if Alan Gordon hadn't gotten a late equalizer for the San Jose Earthquakes in May. His scoring rate per 90 minutes ended up being a little under every two and a half games, which isn't stellar but isn't as bad as most of the Goats' forwards. But he showed an ability to step up and score in key moments, when he did score. He had to retake a penalty kick in the first SuperClasico of the season, and buried it both times. He's not the finished product, but I don't have any idea why he fell down the depth chart over the season and had to deal with garbage minutes late in the season. If he had more playing time, it almost certainly wouldn't have dramatically altered Chivas' 2012 season, but who knows? They might have gotten a result here or there to soften the blow.

As a result, I sincerely hope to see Correa back next year and hope he gets consistent playing time, as well as good service from his teammates. I really think that Correa could develop into a star, and want to see him get that chance with Chivas.

Grades:

Scoring Threat: B

Jose Erick Correa represents the greatest scoring chance on the Chivas USA squad. Acquiring the young Columbian proved to be a lengthy process as Correa kept scoring in Colombia, which caused his previous club to keep raising the price. Once a Rojiblanco, Correa needed only a second appearance to score his first goal.

The big question is: has Correa peaked? MLS is littered with talented strikers who rely on talent alone but aren't willing to put in the hard work both physically and mentally to be the best. Correa spent most of the season alongside MLS veterans Juan Pablo Angel and Alejandro Moreno--how wisely did he use this time?

Playmaking (Creativity/Passing): D

Correa seemed to really struggle to build and maintain possession. Roughly 30% of his Opta events involve losing the ball, either by a bad pass or just simply being dispossessed. Correa may well flourish in a 4-4-2 where he can play as a Number 9 striker. But if Chivas opt to go with a 4-2-3-1, Correa may find himself glued to the bench if not moved outright.

Defense: C

Following his brace at the USOC match against Charlotte, Correa's playing time rapidly diminished as he only made two starts after June. The rest of his appearances were as a late "impact sub" when Chivas chased the game. Despite his height of 6'1", he has only a handful of headers (Casey Townsend has a lot more despite being four inches shorter).

- Matthew Hoffman

GM's Evaluation:

So what happened to this guy? He was doing quite well for the team up top, and then all of a sudden stopped playing. I thought he showed a lot of promise. His work rate on the field really impressed me. I do prefer Juan Agudelo and Casey Townsend ahead of him, but favor him over Cesar Romero. He is one of those players that is hard to make a decision on - had a great start to the season but then disappeared at the end, and not in playing terms.

- Rachna Kapur

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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