Ozzie Ramos has put his own safety at risk while pursuing his dream of becoming a professional soccer player.
The 2014 Central Valley High School grad often shares his story about sleeping in his car multiple nights and not having enough money to buy food during community outreach appearances and media interviews.
“I won’t be the first or last person to go through things like that,” he said. “Sacrifices have to be made if you’re serious about getting what you want. You definitely question yourself. That’s normal because you’re not in an ideal situation.”
Ramos, 23, will begin his third season with San Diego 1904 FC of the National Independent Soccer Association this September.
The third-division pro league is sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
“I’ll be ready when I’m called upon,” said Ramos, a center midfielder who’s been training at home in Ceres and at local parks during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. “I’ve been doing a little bit of everything—lifting, running and anything soccer specific. I want the season to start already but we have to respect the guidelines that are in place. They’re in place for a reason.”
Ramos and 1904 FC had their spring season cut short for safety reasons.
He scored one goal in two games.
“It would have been great to continue the spring season,” he said. “We had some momentum. I don’t stress over it because I know there’s nothing I can change about it. It (COVID-19) is bigger than soccer and my career. I’m trying to do my part by wearing a mask.”
Ramos has embraced the role of being a leader.
He’ll be a team captain for the third straight season.
“It’s more than soccer,” he said. “You have to be a leader in the community. That’s something I’ve enjoyed doing. I enjoy speaking to kids about my journey and answering their questions. I share my experiences so they can use that to their advantage.”
Ramos signed a contract with 1904 FC last August.
He attended a month-long training camp at Southwestern College in Chula Vista prior to earning a roster spot.
A total of 30 players participated.
San Diego posted a 2-0-4 record during the 2019 fall season.
“I’m a soccer nerd. I love everything about it. I know for sure I’m going to continue in the game after I’m done playing. I’m still young. I have a lot left in me. I definitely want to play first-division soccer. That’s always been a goal of mine. I know I can do it.”Ozzie Ramos
“I’m a soccer nerd,” Ramos said. “I love everything about it. I know for sure I’m going to continue in the game after I’m done playing. I’m still young. I have a lot left in me. I definitely want to play first-division soccer. That’s always been a goal of mine. I know I can do it.”
Ramos played for ASC San Diego, an amateur team, in the National Premier Soccer League prior to suiting up for 1904 FC. He filled a major role in leading the amateur team to a 15-6-1 overall record, the West Region title and semifinal appearance in the NPSL Playoffs for the first time.
Ramos collected five goals and four assists while starting at defensive center midfielder.
Ramos spent his first two years of college at San Diego State. He saw action in all 38 of the Aztecs’ games.
He collected two goals, dished out one assist and attempted 39 shots while starting 31 times.
Ramos was voted San Diego State’s top newcomer his freshman year.
Ramos totaled seven assists and one goal during his two-year career with the Seattle University men’s soccer team.
He helped the Redhawks secure a berth to the NCAA Division-I Tournament in 2017. Ramos earned Western Athletic Conference honorable-mention accolades.
Ramos graduated from Central Valley High School in 2014.
He tied for first in California in assists (29) and ranked fifth in goals (31) during his final season with the Hawks. He also claimed the WAC Most Valuable Player award for the second year in a row.
Central Valley posted a program-best 26-2-0 overall record, captured their sixth straight conference title and advanced to the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year.
“Every step of my career I’ve been self-motivated,” Ramos said. “I’ve blocked out all the distractions. There are a lot of players that would love to be in my position. That’s something I don’t take for granted. But I haven’t done anything yet. I’m just getting started. Everybody has a path. This is my path.”