Los Angeles Football Club announced on Monday evening they have acquired forward Christian Ramirez in a trade with Minnesota United FC. In exchange for the player, LAFC sent Minnesota $250,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2018 and 2019, $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2018, $200,000 in TAM in 2019, and up to $200,000 in future Allocation Money based on the player’s performance at LAFC.
“To be able to add a proven MLS goal scorer in Christian is a win for us,” said EVP of Soccer Operations and General Manager John Thorrington in a statement. “He is a player we have monitored for a while and are incredibly excited to welcome him home to Los Angeles.”
Ramirez, 27, is in his second season in MLS, both with Minnesota. In league play, he’s scored 21 goals in 50 games. A pure No. 9, Ramirez worked his way up the ranks of American soccer. The Garden Grove native played collegiate soccer at UC Santa Barbara and Concordia University in Irvine, before launching his pro career with the then-USL side Charlotte Eagles in 2013, reaching the final that year. From there, he moved to the NASL to play for Minnesota United, scoring a grand total of 72 goals in 140 games across all leagues and competitions for the Loons between 2014 and this season.
But Ramirez was clearly never fully on the same page with Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath, and throughout the current transfer window rumors had been circulating that he was being shopped around the league. Prior to signing with the MLS version of Minnesota, there had been reported interest in Ramirez, of Colombian heritage, among Liga MX clubs.
That interest may help explain why LAFC were willing to pay so much for Ramirez. While LAFC are guaranteed to spend at least $750,000 on Ramirez in allocation money, not an insignificant amount, they clearly understand he’s an asset who can help them, and there’s the potential he could be an asset, perhaps a little less likely at his current age, but still plausibly, to flip to an international team.
At the same time, LAFC’s attack is deep — Carlos Vela is an automatic start, and alongside him is the likes of Diego Rossi, Adama Diomande, Latif Blessing and Marco Ureña. Granted, there may yet be room for Ramirez — Bob Bradley effectively plays one central striker and a bunch of slashers — but if Diomande’s injury on Sunday isn’t severe, it’s far from guaranteed Ramirez will start on a regular basis.
Still, any situation where you can get a player who can be useful, has a track record of scoring in your league, may have some saleable assets and prevents an opponent from picking him up may be too good to pass up. I suspect that’s the case here, but we’ll see how he fits in with LAFC.
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