Spring 2021 Magazine

LAFC's Christian Ramirez strives to 'put myself second to God' as he leads West's top club

God has always been part of Los Angeles FC striker Christian Ramirez’s life. He grew up in a Catholic home going to church with his parents.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

However, it wasn’t until Ramirez began his professional soccer journey that he really made his faith his own. After finishing his college career at Concordia University Irvine in 2012, he signed with the Charlotte Eagles, a Christian club whose mission is to “glorify God and see lives transformed by communicating the message of Jesus Christ through the global environment of soccer.”

“It wasn’t until my time with the Charlotte Eagles that I found my way because everyone there was so knowledgeable about the Bible and believing in God,” Ramirez told Cross the Line. “I had always believed in Him but had shown it in a different way, so I absorbed a lot during my time there just because of people were so open to speaking about it without forcing it upon me.”

The following year, Ramirez joined Minnesota United of the North American Soccer League. In three seasons, he led the league in scoring twice. Minnesota United moved to Major League Soccer in 2017 with Ramirez as the team’s main scoring threat. He recorded 14 goals and three assists in the club’s first season in MLS.

In January 2018, Ramirez received his first call-up to the United States men’s national team. Last August, he was traded to another expansion team, LAFC.

View this post on Instagram

Minnesota, Never did I think 5 years ago, I would call Minnesota home. Thank you to everyone involved that helped bring this dream to life, I am forever thankful to everyone! To the fans, I can’t thank you enough for your love and warm welcome from day 1, to the extra motivation you guys provided when things weren’t going well. I hope that I left a lasting impression of passion, smiles, winning, and touched the younger generation here in Minnesota to continue to push this great state to levels that it’s yet to reach and will reach! I had dreams of never leaving. I never thought this day would come. It still doesn’t seem real. Minnesota became home, my wife and I started a family here and will forever have that in our hearts. Again and I can’t say it enough you guys helped me grow as a person and player and will be forever grateful. And of course not to forget my teammates the ones I can call family thank you for everything thank you for being not just teammates but my friends thank you. Dr. Bill can’t thank you enough for saving the club when it was ready to fold and now seeing it grow the way it has you’ve done an amazing job. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the first MLS team. Thank you, Christian Ramirez 👋🏼🔇⚽️ #CR21

A post shared by Christian Ramirez (@christianramirez_21) on

Ramirez, a California native, is settling in nicely in his first full season with LAFC. He’s appeared in nine of the team’s first 10 games, contributing two goals and an assist. LAFC, currently at the top of the Western Conference, leads MLS in points (23) and goals scored (26).

As LAFC and Ramirez continue their push toward the MLS Cup, the 28-year-old strives to put God first in everything he does.

“When you try to do things on your own is when I have failed,” Ramirez told Cross the Line. “I just have to put myself second to God and to be selfless in the way that I live my life, whether that is on the field or off it with people I am dealing with. I try to do things the way that I feel God would.”

RELATED STORIES:
Gyasi Zardes scores twice for Columbus Crew in its first win of MLS season
Liverpool’s Daniel Strurridge grounded in Christ while chasing Premier League title
Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis glorifies God through soccer