The US Men’s National Team released its roster this week for the group stage of 2017 Gold Cup, and one local player was notably absent.
The roster, which is flooded with MLS players in its current form, doesn’t include Minnesota United forward Christian Ramirez.
Here it is! The quest for a sixth @GoldCup crown begins!
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 25, 2017
A couple other players like Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey could be added in later rounds.
Ramirez has netted 9 goals in 17 games this season, which is tied for 5th in MLS. And that’s a carry-over from his impressive scoring run in the seasons before the Loons joined MLS. When the club was part of the NASL, it’s easy to see why some people felt his goal scoring was inflated against inferior competition.
It wasn’t that surprising to see Ramirez left off the roster in June, when the team played Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico (in Mexico City) as part of World Cup qualifiers.
Now that’s Ramirez keeps scoring against MLS competition, though, it’s more than just local bias that suggests Ramirez deserved a look for the Gold Cup roster.
Here’s an excerpt from a recent ESPN column by Arch Bell:
Out of all the snubs, Ramirez’s case may be the strongest. His name started cropping up in the past year or so after producing 51 goals in three excellent seasons at Minnesota United.
Through 17 games Ramirez has nine goals. His uncanny knack of being at the right place at the right time has continued in MLS, and going up against the league’s more-physical center-backs has not been a problem. At this rate, he might have to wait until January before he gets his chance of a first national team cap.
The other Gold Cup snubs listed by Bell are Sporting Kansas City’s Ike Opara and Tim Melia, New England’s Lee Nguyen and Chicago’s Matt Polster.
A month ago we wondered what United might look like without Ramirez if the National Team called his name for the Gold Cup roster. Now it appears Loons fans won’t have to worry about that.