Last week in Part 1 of this exclusive FutnSoccer interview, Christian Ramirez spoke about how he began his trajectory into the sport he loves, but which he also almost leaves. The North American Soccer League scoring champion for Minnesota United put the ball in the net 20 times this season, tying the single-season record in the NASL. With those 20 goals, the Colombian-American striker helped his team finish in 2nd place of the Fall standings, and will now aim at a championship run in the playoffs. Ramirez and his team commence their playoff run today, Saturday, November 8, 2014 (4:00 PM Pacific) against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
In this Part 2 of the interview, Ramirez talks about his current form with Minnesota United, the team’s approach to winning the NASL title, and the significance of USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann mentioning him as a prospect for future national team call-ups.
FutnSoccer Interview : Christian Ramirez (Part 2)
FnS: Your numbers with Minnesota United (MU) are outstanding. Can you share them with me?
CR: I have 19 goals and 5 assists after 26 games. (Days after the interview Christian scored his 20th goal tying the all-time single-season scoring record in the NASL).
FnS: Your teammate Miguel Ibarra was recently named into the USMNT roster by Jurgen Klinsmann. How is your relation with him?
CR: We live together and have a great relation on and off the field. On the field, we have a great understanding of what we both want. We complement each other, we enjoy every day that we play together, and that understanding helps both of us in our playing style. I am blessed to be in that position.
FnS: Many have heard of the NASL, but how high do you feel the quality of the league is?
CR: The quality and talent of the league is definitely growing. There is so much hidden talent in the US as the market is so big. With the Ibarra call-up into the USMNT, people just got a little taste of the talent in the league. Overall, there is a lot of talent in many levels of US soccer, and I feel that US soccer is starting to get that recognition from the rest of the world.
” It is mind-blowing to hear my name in that Klinsmann conversation, and if the opportunity comes, I will take it.” – CR21
FnS: What does it mean to you when USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann mentioned you in a recent interview about players he is considering for future call-ups?
CR: It is truly humbling and it shows me that nothing is impossible. When I felt like quitting, I ran into coach Mike Oseguera who showed me to keep on playing. I am grateful to keep on playing, I play every game like it is my last, I play with a smile, and I am extremely happy to keep on progressing as a person and as a soccer player. It is mind-blowing to hear my name in that Klinsmann conversation, and if the opportunity comes, I will take it.
FnS: Your career as a professional has been unique, in the sense that you have risen through the ranks in very little time. With that in mind, what are your short-term goals?…
CR: My short term goal is to focus on our next game in hand and bring in the championship. I have a great relation with my agent, so I get to focus on my next game while he focuses on my off-field issues. If I can play soccer tomorrow I’ll be happy because it was my childhood dream.
FnS: Now, what about your long-term goals?
CR: My long term goal is trying to reach my full-potential. That is, using very single ounce of my God-giving ability to play the sport to the fullest.
FnS: Is the idea of playing in the Major League Soccer (MLS), or Europe in the future something that excites you?
CR: Yes, it is always mentioned in conversations I have with friends and family because it is great to think of greater things. But at the moment I am happy where I am, just focused for our next game.
FnS: Real Madrid legend, Raul Gonzalez, just signed for the New York Cosmos. If you play against him, is that something you thought you would ever have had the opportunity to do?
CR: It is a huge signing for the NASL to bring a top player like that. It just shows the huge market that the league has, and US soccer in general. It will be great to play against him, just as it was when I played with other players such as Marco Senna from Spain or my old teammate Richard Garcia from Australia. Playing with players such as Raul, Marco, or Richard is outstanding because you are alongside players who have competed in the top levels of soccer imaginable. The three played in FIFA World Cups, and knowing they played at that level is like a dream.
FutnSoccer: Finally, Christian, is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
Christian Ramirez: I am thankful to be here, and am hopeful to be here as long as I can.
“At the moment I am happy where I am, just focused for our next game.” – CR21
Christian Ramirez, who was named the October/November NASL Player of the Month, has demonstrated he is capable of reaching success as a soccer player. When he was about to quit the sport of his childhood dreams, the striker gave soccer one last try, and chasing his passion has taken him into the history books of the NASL. With good height, great team work, and a deadly scent for goals, Ramirez is a true example of top talent that US soccer is producing in all its levels. As one of the top American goal scorers in all levels of professional US soccer, Christian Ramirez is a name to keep an eye on as he continues to rise into the ranks of stardom.