PLAYER OF THE MONTH | Minnesota Forward Christian Ramirez

The California native scored seven goals in July
NASL Staff (@naslofficial} | Aug 4, 2016

Photo credit: Minnesota United

No forward in the North American Soccer League (NASL) was hotter than Minnesota United’s Christian Ramirez in the month of July.

The Garden Grove, Calif., native scored seven goals with one assist for the Loons and was voted Player of the Month for July, the league announced Thursday.  

“I want to thank God, my family, my fiancé, as well as my teammates and coaching staff,” Ramirez said. “As much as this is an individual award it also is a team award because it means that as a club we had a successful month and start to the Fall Season. I hope to build on a successful start and continue to do my part in this journey.”

Ramirez, 25, began the month and the Fall Season by scoring his first professional hat trick in Minnesota’s 5-1 win over the Carolina RailHawks. The 6-foot-2 target man scored the game’s first two goals in a four-minute span of the first half against Carolina.

After the Loons’ only loss of the month (at Indy Eleven), the only July game in which he failed to score and the team was shutout, Ramirez and Minnesota returned home against the Eleven and notched a 2-0 win. Ramirez scored both goals for United, two quick strikes (one from the penalty spot) in the game’s first six minutes.

He again scored the Loons’ game-winning goal, against Fort Lauderdale on July 23, when Minnesota won its fourth consecutive home game, a 3-1 victory. To close out the month, Ramirez gave the Loons a brief 2-1 lead at Rayo OKC when he scored in second-half injury time. The match ended in a 2-2 draw when Futty Danso scored minutes later.

“It's relatively simple, he's a very humble player,” Minnesota coach Carl Craig said. “He does everything we ask him to do and it's a testament to him just getting on with it. There are many players out there that get adulation and limelight and it goes to their head, but here we are, three seasons in a row where he has improved. His attitude has never changed – he goes to work, puts his head down, and gets on with it. Christian is one of those guys who really puts it out there every day. Any young lads who might be watching or reading this need to know that that's the key.”

Ramirez leads the NASL with 12 goals through Wednesday’s games. He has been a prolific goalscorer since joining Minnesota United in 2014 after a one-year stint with USL PRO’s Charlotte Eagles. In his first year in Minnesota, he was the NASL’s Golden Boot award winner, notching 20 goals. He was also named the league’s Young Player of the Year and was the recipient of the Goal of the Year award. In 2015, he was named to the NASL Best XI after scoring 12 goals and adding six assists. Overall, Ramirez has scored 45 career league goals for Minnesota United and is now seven shy of former teammate Pablo Campos’ all-time NASL mark.  

The Loons are back in action at NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn., on Saturday against Miami FC. Kickoff is set for 8 pm ET and the match can be seen live on ESPN3 (U.S.) and on (Canada).

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