Ozzie Ramos made his pro soccer debut this past weekend.
The 2014 Central Valley High School grad wore a captain’s armband during San Diego 1904 FC’s 2-0 loss to host L.A. Force in the Challenge Cup on Saturday at Whittier College.
“It’s an extra responsibility I very much enjoy,” he said. “Armband or not, every time I’m on the field, I’ll do everything in my power to lead my team.”
Ramos started at center back against L.A. Force.
He played the entire 90 minutes.
“It’s a milestone to check off,” Ramos said. “It felt like I was in my natural habitat. But this is just the beginning. I’m going to be hungry to learn more and more.”
L.A. Force outscored 1904 FC 1-0 in the opening half.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing we didn’t win,” Ramos said. “We took control of the game in the second half. We had a couple opportunities to score but just didn’t put them away. It’s a learning moment.”
Ramos’ father, mother and three sisters attended the game.
“My whole family surprised me,” he said. “I had no clue they were going to be there. It was special to see all of them there. They’ve always had my back.”
San Diego will play its first-ever home game this Saturday when its faces National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) rival Cal United of Irvine.
NISA, a third-division new pro league, is sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
The fall season runs from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
A round-robin tournament will be staged for the league’s nine clubs.
“I’m very confident. We’ll get the results we want this season. Preparation is the key. You have to be proactive.”Ozzie Ramos
“I’m very confident,” Ramos said. “We’ll get the results we want this season. Preparation is the key. You have to be proactive.”
All of 1904 FC’s home games will be staged at the 70,561-seat SDCCU Stadium.
“It will be a lot of fun to play there,” he said. “We’re expecting a lot of the San Diego community to come out and support us.”
Ramos signed a one-year contract with 1904 FC on Aug. 29.
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.
“They’ve been taking care of us really well in terms of transportation and living,” Ramos said. “They’re covering everything and we get decent paychecks.”
Ramos played for ASC San Diego, an amateur team, in the National Premier Soccer League this past season. 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.