What happened to Jose Correa in 2013?
I suppose we can go back to 2012, and wonder why Correa started so brightly after arriving from his native Colombia before losing his form by the end of the season. That lack of form continued into this year, as the young striker (officially listed as 21, though he is reportedly two years older) played a fair amount of minutes but tallied a single goal, in his final appearance for the club this year.
It is, of course, hard to know definitively what happened to Correa. Perhaps his development stalled. Maybe he was on an extended cold streak. Possibly external factors played a role, what with the massive upheaval on the coaching staff and roster in the short time he was with the club. Lack of consistent service to the strikers for basically Correa's entire time with the Goats certainly didn't help matters at all.
But he seemed to have the physical tools, and he started his time in MLS well. This year, he was really pretty awful.
And yet it can't be said that the Colombian didn't get a fair shake, as he racked up the third-most minutes among forwards on the roster in 2013. In fact, at one point in the season, Correa was the only true striker on the team.
Here are Correa's stats with Chivas in 2013:
|Games Played||Games Started||Minutes||Goals||Assists||Shots||SOG||Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|MLS Regular Season||16||12||1,054||1||0||18||11||0||0|
|U.S. Open Cup||1||1||60||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Perhaps it is unfortunate Correa didn't get credit in some way for causing an own goal in the big win against Chicago, but that's how stats are kept. But obviously notching just one goal in over 1,000 minutes of play for a central striker is simply not good enough.
Like so many of his Chivas teammates, Correa didn't see out the season with the Goats, as he was loaned to newly promoted Argentine Primera side Gimnasia La Plata in mid-August. And since Erick Torres stepped in midseason and practically carried the scoring burden singlehandedly for the team, Correa looked like he was surplus to requirements.
It's a shame, really, for player and team alike. Correa entered MLS hot, and looked like he had the size to withstand punishing MLS defenses. His technical skills were still rough around the edges. But it appears he regressed, or at least didn't grow as a player during his season and a half with the Goats. Surely some of that comes down to the player, but the constant turmoil at the club certainly did him no favors. Three head coaches (four if we include interim boss Sacha van der Most), somewhere around 50 teammates on one team, again, in the span of 16 months. 16 months!
Correa didn't perform, period. But he may be the poster boy for the detriment that constant organizational disruption does to the on-field product.
So Correa went to Argentina, and played for Gimnasia in the recent Argentine Torneo Inicial. Gimnasia finished right in the middle of the pack for the season in 11th, which was a good showing for them.
From the stats I could find, Correa made six appearances and scored three goals for Gimnasia. I asked Sam Kelly, a soccer writer and podcaster based in Buenos Aires about his opinion of Correa, and he was positive. He also said Correa got hurt during the season and the team suffered as a result.
So maybe it was Chivas dragging him down! Maybe he needed a change of scenery. Who knows. Will Correa come back to Chivas? Officially, he's only on loan right now, so it is definitely possible. I don't think it is likely, however. I'm sure Chivas would love to get a transfer fee for him, either from Gimnasia or any other South American team willing to buy him.
And considering his struggles in MLS this year, I'm guessing few, including the player himself, are itching for him to return to California. If that's the case, then a player who arrived with such promise never really performed, and in the process highlighted the drawbacks of constant turmoil at Chivas USA.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!
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