The forward scored the game-winning goal and added an assist to lead the Loons to a win over the Fort Lauderdale Striker on Saturday night.Forward Christian Ramirez’s electrifying performance in the NASL #FightForFirst between Minnesota United FC and Fort Lauderdale Strikers has earned him Player of the Week honors for Week 6.
Ramirez blasted home the game-winning goal and added a delightful assist to put the Loons three points clear of the field with just three weeks to go in the race to be NASL Spring Champion.
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With the score level 1-1, United midfielder Miguel Ibarra played the ball on the right side of the field and took it along the top of the box before passing to Ramirez. Ramirez took a touch before cannoning a shot into the upper right corner that beat Fort Lauderdale’s goalkeeper Oka Nikolov to delight of 5,325 at NSC Stadium on Saturday evening.
Proving a lethal combination on Saturday evening, Ramirez returned the favor to Ibarra when he assisted on Minnesota’s third tally in the 70th minute with an excellent backheel pass that Ibarra put away for added insurance.
"I just want to first off thank God and my teammates and coaches, because without them welcoming me and believing in me like they have since day one, none of my success so far would be possible," said Ramirez, who currently has four goals and two assists for a league-high six points in the Spring Season. “It's a humbling feeling to receive Player of the Week honors and I'm thankful for it, but even more thankful that we regained the top of the table and are one step closer to the spring title.”
United coach Manny Lagos was enthusiastic for Ramirez’s league achievement.
"We are really proud of him and the guys on our team are also really proud of him," said Lagos. "He has come in this season and brought some nice energy and enthusiasm to the group and I think this is a deserved reward for how he has been playing. The goals and the assists are great for our club, but I think it's the other stuff that he is doing on the field that is important. I think that’s why the points are there, but he has really stepped in and given us the ability to continue to play well and the guys have responded and respected the effort he has put in."
The Santa Ana, Calif., native signed with Minnesota United FC during the 2014 offseason. Ramirez finished his college career at Concordia University in Irvine with 44 goals and 18 assists. He spent 2013 with the Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO where he appeared in 26 matches, while tallying 12 goals.