As busy as LAFC have been these days, new arrival Christian Ramirez had scant time to settle into joining a new club and returning to Los Angeles before he was thrust into action in Saturday's 2-0 home loss to Sporting Kansas City.
But while coach Bob Bradley and his teammates were traveling to Houston last week for the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, the acquisition from Minnesota United gave some insights into his perceived role on a team packed with talent.
"I’m going to be a poacher," Ramirez promised. "I’m going to live inside the 18-yard box, and let guys like [Carlos] Vela and [Diego] Rossi and [Latif] Blessing do their thing and be an option for them when they get in that attacking third."
Ramirez played the final 21 minutes of that loss, posting two shots — including one on target — while also coming tantalizingly close to guiding a diving header into a gaping goal.
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Although LAFC are now out of the Open Cup, Ramirez says he understands the expansion club's championship aspirations and is totally on board.
"They want to start collecting trophies as soon as possible, and that should be the goal," Ramirez said. "I don’t see why that’s unreasonable. They’ve been in a good position this whole season and been a force. That should be the target."
What if it means posting less gaudy personal numbers?
"I want to be a winner, and be known as a winner," Ramirez said. "That’s my biggest thing, is I’ll do anything to help the guys win."
LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman discounted the idea Ramirez might not make a big impact on a club possessing a wealth of attackers. Ramirez scored 14 goals with Minnesota in their 2017 expansion campaign, has seven this season, and hit the net more than 50 times over three years with the NASL version of the Loons.
"Any time you add a 15-goal guy, it’s huge for the team," Zimmerman said. "So hopefully he can come in and contribute, and we’ll make sure he feels right at home."
That last part should be easy: Ramirez grew up fewer than 40 miles southeast of Banc of California stadium in the SoCal suburb of Garden Grove.
"I always wanted to [play in LA] at some point," Ramirez said. "I didn’t know when it would happen. I’m grateful for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to put these colors on."