(Updated: Mar 5, 10:23 PM) SAN JOSE – Danny Corral has been named the winner of Real San Jose’s Alex Arellano Memorial Award, which is the club’s award for being its Best Teammate.
Corral, 24, plays center back for RSJ. He will be recognized for his fine 2018 season Saturday night when RSJ plays its 2019 spring season home opener at PAL Stadium against San Leandro United.
The award is named after the late Alex Arellano, the second son of RSJ founder Nick Arellano and his wife, Norma. He died at 25 in 2012. Alex was a massive fan of both Mt. Pleasant High School and Real San Jose and a fixture at the teams’ games.
Corral says he remembers meeting Alex when he played prep soccer at Mt. Pleasant, which was coached then, and now, by Nick Arellano.
“It means a lot to me, personally,” Corral said of the award. “I was not expecting it.”
Corral said he has known elder Arellano since he was the rare high school freshman playing for the varsity soccer team. He was named team captain his senior season and led the Cardinals to a league championship. He went on to play for three seasons at California State University, Bakersfield.
Nick Arellano was effusive in praise of Corral. He said he is punctual, always gives his best effort and works well with others.
“He’s not a rah-rah type. He’s just a good guy to be around,” Arellano said. “That said, there is a fiery competitor that appears when the whistle blows.”
Corral said he is not a theatrical leader, someone who scolds teammates during a game or prone to pointing fingers.
“I’m not the type to put someone down,” Corral said. “I want to help them do better because we’re a team.”
Corral is only one of at least four former Mt. Pleasant players who are part of this spring’s team. He said he is grateful to be playing again for Arellano, who has been rumored to be fiery on occasion.
“He’s a passionate guy,” Corral said. “It pumps me up to hear him shouting.”