Soccer News: Minnesota United FC Forward Christian Ramirez Wins Honors
Minnesota United FC forward Christian Ramirez tallied 20 goals in 2014 to earn the North American Soccer League (NASL) Golden Boot Award, which is handed out annually to the league’s top scorer.
Christian Ramirez, 23, scored in each of the first two weeks of the 2014 Spring Season and never looked back, leading the scoring race for nearly the entire year. The 6-foot-2 forward capped off his tremendous year with his 20th tally during the final week of the Fall Season, officially becoming Minnesota United FC’s first player to win the NASL Golden Boot.
“I never really thought that I’d be here, so it’s truly a blessing from God to be in this situation,” said Ramirez. “I’m just thankful for this year and I’m proud that we were able to come out on top in the Spring and Combined Standings.”
Ramirez becomes the fourth different winner of the award in the NASL Modern Era. Carolina RailHawks forward Etienne Barbara won the 2011 scoring title (20 goals), San Antonio Scorpions forward Pablo Campos took the honors in 2012 (21 goals), and RaiHawks forward Brian Shriver claimed last year’s crown (15 goals).
A native of Santa Ana, CA, Ramirez played in all 27 regular season matches this year, leading the Loons to a Spring Season Championship and the best overall record in 2014. United’s banner year earned them the #1 seed in The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament, where they were eventually knocked out in the semifinals by the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last Saturday.
United went undefeated in games when Ramirez scored, posting 13 victories and four draws. Perhaps Ramirez’s most spectacular goal came on August 16 in a 5-1 home win over Indy Eleven. He executed a perfect bicycle kick from 17 yards out, earning the title as “The One” on Fox Sports Live’s countdown of top plays.