Christian Ramirez feels as though he’s coming out ahead, regardless of whether he plays in the U.S. men’s national team’s friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Carson, Calif., on Sunday.
In his first invitation to train with the top U.S. team, the Minnesota United striker has been attentive to the habits and behaviors of his 29 teammates since camp started Jan. 10 near Los Angeles.
“Something that I take away from this camp is an attention to detail,” Ramirez said Friday. “That is taken into account by everyone out here. Whether it’s taking care of our bodies or doing extra work. … At this level, if you take one second off, you get punished.”
Ramirez, 26, is one of six forwards in the U.S. camp and the least experienced of the bunch. Last summer, the Garden Grove, Calif., native thought his opportunity to play for the U.S. had passed forever when he was skipped over for the Gold Cup. So, if he receives his first appearance Sunday, the moment will be savored.
“It would mean everything,” Ramirez said. “It would be another box checked off on my bucket list in being able to wear this uniform and the privilege and responsibility that it carries. Being that it’s in L.A. at the StubHub Center where family and friends will be, it couldn’t be a better scenario for me.”
On the training pitch, Ramirez is satisfied with what he’s shown acting head coach Dave Sarachan and other U.S. Soccer officials. The U.S. is working to rebound after the devastating blow of not qualifying for the World Cup in Russia this summer.
“I think that I’ve adjusted well. I’m happy with how I’ve played,” Ramirez said. “I think I’ve shown myself well and what I’m about. I’ve shown that I’m a team-first guy, and I will do the role that is asked of me.”
Ramirez has scored goals in small-sided games in training and assisted on an Ian Harkes goal during an intrasquad scrimmage. “I played him through and he finished one,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez has bonded with many…