Ozzie Ramos is looking forward to beginning the next chapter of his professional soccer career.
The 2014 Central Valley High School grad/defensive center midfielder signed with Fresno-based Central Valley Fuego FC this past month.
“I’m very happy,” said Ramos, 25. “It’s almost like I’m returning home. I get to play in front of famly and friends every other weekend. I haven’t been able to do that since I was in high school.”
Fuego FC competes in USL League One along with 10 other Division-3 teams, including the Charlotte Independence, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Forward Madison FC, Greenville Triumph, SC, North Carolina FC, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC, Richmond Kickers, South Georgia Tormenta FC, FC Tucson and Union Omaha.
The USL League One campaign will kick off on April 2.
Each team will play 30 regular-season games followed by playoffs.
“I’m trying to be the best player that I can be. That’s what motivates me. I enjoy competing every day.”Ozzie Ramos
“I’m trying to be the best player that I can be,” Ramos said. “That’s what motivates me. I enjoy competing every day.”
Central Valley will play all of its home games at the Fresno State Soccer Stadium.
“A lot of people are excited,” Ramos said. “They’ve sold a ton of season tickets. Fresno has a lot of soccer culture.”
Ramos previously suited up for San Diego 1904 FC of the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA).
He made his pro debut for the third-division pro league club in 2019.
“It was a team that started from scratch,” said Ramos, who spent three years with 1904 FC. “I was one of the first signings. I learned a lot.”
Ramos also played professionally in Mexico.
Atlético Jalisco collected one win, one loss and one tie during its inaugural season in Liga de Balompié before ceasing operations in October of 2019 due to financial issues.
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.
“Right now, I’m focused on this season and playing my best for this team,” Ramos said. “We’ll see what happens after that. Obviously, I want to play at the highest level I possibly can whether it’s here, Mexico, overseas or wherever the game takes me. I definitely see myself playing soccer 5-10 more years.”
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 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 tied for first in California in assists (29) and ranked fifth in goals (31) during his final season of varsity soccer at Central Valley High School. He also claimed the WAC Most Valuable Player award for the second year in a row. The Hawks 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.
Ramos served as an assistant coach at his alma mater this winter. Central Valley advanced to the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.
“I try to do my best to mentor the guys,” he said. “I’ve been in their shoes.”