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Orange County Blues 2015 Player Postmortem: Christofer Ramirez

The leading scorer played with a mean streak.

Ramirez celebrates one of his eight goals in 2015.
Ramirez celebrates one of his eight goals in 2015.
Liza Rosales/OC Blues FC

Christofer Ramirez was the exact kind of feisty-yet-skilled striker the Orange County Blues needed in 2015.

The 25-year-old, on loan from Salvadoran side Atletico Marte for the season, showed the feistiness (and then some) in the season opener, appearing to punch an Arizona United defender for no particular reason, and due to poor officiating in that game, got away with it.

Fortunately, that downright dirty style of play didn't overwhelm his talents, which were considerable, as he ended up leading the team in scoring in 2015 with eight goals, and he was able to frustrate opponents with the tallies and gamesmanship more than just sucker-punch opponents for the hell of it.

Here are Ramirez's statistics in 2015:

Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
USL Regular Season 25 15 1,491 8 1 46 25 6 0
USL Playoffs 1 0 34 0 0 0 0 0 0
U.S. Open Cup 1 1 90 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 27 16 1,615 8 1 47 25 7 0

Although he was a key member of the attack, Ramirez's minutes were almost imperceptibly pared back as the end of the season drew near. As Chris Cortez emerged from an early-season funk and became more consistent, Ramirez spent more time on the bench and became a late-game change of pace option, something that worked a charm in the last regular season meeting against LA Galaxy II, when he came off the bench to score the game winner, the Blues' first ever victory over the local rivals.

But whether Oliver Wyss was looking to rotate the forwards to keep everyone fresh, or whether he wanted to broaden the scoring base so that the team wasn't overly reliable on Ramirez, his impact diminished late in the season when the team was really clicking. It's hard to fault a player who led his team in scoring, but it seemed like Wyss was already looking for more permanent options when making his lineups in the final months of the season.

Officially, Ramirez is back with Atletico Marte after his loan ended, so it's fairly unlikely he'll be back next season. I wouldn't say there's no chance he could suit up with OC again, as he could find breaking through in El Salvador tough and have his contract ultimately end. If he's on a free and the Blues are still looking for scorers, something most teams are continually doing, he could very well make his way back.

And if he isn't coming back in 2016, the Blues will have some work in bringing in a player or two to pick up the scoring slack. There are many ways to play and while having a striker with some (metaphorical) bite can be useful, it's not necessarily a requirement. Finding a striker who can score is, however.

All in all it was a pretty good season for Christofer Ramirez. Consistency may be a goal moving forward, but he certainly made an impact on Orange County turning their fortunes around in 2015. Luckily for him and the team, the less savory side of his game was not scrutinized too closely by referees, and he was able to keep his skill paramount above the mind games.

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