Christian Ramirez - Minnesota United - smiles and celebrates after a win

If almost any other team in the league had made this trade, I would question it.

LAFC already have two very good strikers in Adama Diomande and Marco Urena. The team leads the Western Conference in goals scored this season. We already had questions about how they would find minutes for two starting-caliber strikers before they added Christian Ramirez on Monday in a trade with Minnesota United FC. Ramirez is a good player but not a definitive upgrade over Diomande (9 goals in 13 games!) or Costa Rican international Urena. LAFC now have three capable players for a single spot.

But head coach Bob Bradley and EVP of soccer operations & GM John Thorrington have done pretty much everything right so far this year. They took a team with zero players and made them into a serious trophy contender inside of 12 months. Almost every move they’ve made has been smart.

And there are multiple reasons why the Ramirez trade makes sense too:

He’s a local player. Ramirez grew up in the Los Angeles area. LAFC, as a club, have made it a priority to connect with the city of Los Angeles in every way possible.

  • He’s in the prime of his career and recently signed a new contract, meaning he should be locked into LAFC for a few more years.

  • He’s different than both Diomande and Urena. Ramirez loves to live in the box. He won’t contribute as much in build up play as Diomande or Urena, but Ramirez gets lost in the box more than the other options. To provide context on what Ramirez might add to LAFC, consider their league games against Portland. LAFC dominated possession in bothmatchups but failed to win. They didn’t need another player to help between the 18s; they need someone to disappear and then pop up in front of goal. Ramirez could provide a new look against a deep-defending team like Portland.

  • LAFC have the resources. Expansion teams get extra allocation money when they enter MLS. It’s unclear whether another player as good as Ramirez would have become available for a similar price. If you have the money, you shouldn’t shy away from getting good players just because you already have good players.

  • LAFC didn’t really have any other needs. They have adequate cover at every position. Maybe they could use depth at right back, but I appreciate that they are giving minutes to rookie Tristan Blackmon, allowing him space to develop. So what else would they spend the money on? They don’t need Ramirez to be a starter to validate the cost.

  • When I originally heard the news, I had to do a double take. I expected Ramirez to be traded and I had made a mental list of potential suitors, but LAFC weren’t among them. LAFC appeared to be the last team to need a striker.

    Yet the LAFC brass have done enough good things that I trust their judgement. Either there are more moves (or injury announcements, perhaps, given Diomande limped off in the last game) to come, or Bradley will find a way to make it work.

    I don’t totally get the Ramirez acquisition right now, but I trust that Bradley, Thorrington, and company do. And that's what matters.