Preparation through injury pays off in positive return for Dustin Corea

FC Edmonton winger Dustin Corea is picking up where he left off this North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season campaign after being sidelined due to injury and missing a month of game-time during the tail-end of the Spring Season.

Corea earned his first start of the NASL Fall Season Season in the 3-1 road victory against Indy Eleven this past Saturday in Indianapolis after making his return as a second-half substitute a week prior in the first of two back-to-back matches between the Eddies and Eleven. The winger played a pivotal role in the victory on August 5, scoring one goal from the penalty spot and providing consolation for the Eddies in the final 45 minutes.

Corea has been a constant threat so far this season, registering four goals and three assists through 12 matches of play. The quick start after recovering from an injury will only boost the Salvadorian’s confidence heading into an important Fall Season matchup with the New York Cosmos at 7:00PM this Friday at Clarke Stadium.

“I’ve always felt confident in what I do,” Corea said. “I think I have done a lot since I joined the club, so confidence is always key. Without it, it’s difficult to continue your career, especially after injury. Colin [Miller] has always had a lot of faith in me and what I do and hopefully it continues. The more confidence he gives me, the better I’m going to play.”

The 25-year-old sustained an injury on the same part of his foot that he broke two years ago. Luckily the injury wasn’t as worse as the winger first expected, and began the rehab process back home in Portland, OR. Corea also used the time off to recover and spend time with his family, who have always been there to support him during all the highs and lows in his career.

“Going home helped me keep my mind off everything,” Corea said. “I wanted to be here with the team and playing because that’s what I love to do. But we are all human and we need to decompress. For me I spent time with family and saw my friends.

“My family has been very supportive since I left home to play soccer at the age of 16. They have always been very helpful and they know this has always been what I’ve wanted to do. They’ve always supported me and I’m very grateful to my family.”

For a player, it’s different when you watch the game on television or in the stands. It offers a player a different perspective of the game that they don’t always get to see. Watching from the outside allowed Corea to watch the games more closely and identify the areas of the game where he can improve in order to better his teammates. The winger identified certain areas of the game he could improve on, seeming to pay off in the form of two goals in the club’s 3-1 victory over Indy Eleven.

“It’s one thing being in the game and it’s another thing watching outside,” Corea stated. “I saw things that Ben [Fisk] and Sainey [Nyassi] were doing and I thought maybe I could build off those. We are all different players, but I saw a lot of things I can work on — when to dribble, when to pass, and when not to pass or when to shoot and when not too shoot.

“Coming back into the Indy game I tried to do those things and I think it helped a lot.”

Corea has matured his game a lot since arriving in Edmonton in July of 2015. The Salvadorian winger worked on his offensive side of the game, but he also improved a lot on his defensive efforts. Now, Corea feels his game is well-rounded, but would like to help his team with more goals and assists as the seasons progresses. With the Eddies not scoring as many goals as they’d like to so far this season, the winger is hoping to continue to contribute in-front of goal after an impressive match versus Indy.

“The last season I focused mostly on giving the ball,” Corea said. “I tried to get out of situations and play Tomi [Ameobi] in or my other teammates in with through balls. I still keep that mindset and that same way of playing. I’ve never been selfish, but now I think I need to work more on finishing. I’ve always been good at finishing, but you can always improve. I want to work on my finished product and once you score one or two, you want to keep going and continue to contribute.”

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