FiftyFive.One has confirmed with multiple sources that Minnesota United striker, Christian Ramirez will be called in to the USMNT’s annual January camp. The January camp, nicknamed “Camp Cupcake,” is typically a lower stakes opportunity for U.S.-based players to break into the international level. Ramirez will have the chance to earn his first cap against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Carson, California, on the 28th.
The opportunity has been a long time coming. Ramirez first caught the eye of then-USMNT head coach Jürgen Klinsmann as he scored twenty goals in 2014, his first NASL season. But when USMNT scouts traveled to Minnesota to watch him, it was teammate and best friend Miguel Ibarra that impressed. That led to Ibarra receiving several call-ups, while Ramirez continued to toil away with the Loons, drawing intermittent attention, but still little known outside of Minnesota and NASL circles.
When United moved to MLS, Ramirez nearly moved to Liga MX. But the Loons swayed him with a late offer, and he returned to fight for a spot in the top American league and prove that his goalscoring talent would translate up a division. Doubts faded quickly, when he scored the club’s first-ever goal in MLS just minutes after substituting into the season opener. Despite a frustrating year, in which he was consistently deprived of service, Ramirez nonetheless managed to score 14 goals, leading all Americans in goals from open play.
The USMNT’s failure to qualify for the World Cup in October removed the last justifiable obstacle for Ramirez to finally get a national team call-up, breaking open the player pool for a national side looking to reboot.
The full roster is expected to be announced on Monday.
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