Ozzie Ramos had a successful tryout with San Diego 1904 FC.
The 2014 Central Valley High School grad signed a one-year contract with the third-division professional soccer team on Aug. 29.
“It’s been a while since San Diego has had a pro outdoor team,” said Ramos, a center midfielder. “To be one of the first three players signed means a lot to me. It’s another stop on my journey.”
Founded four years ago, 1904 FC will kick off its inaugural season in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) this Saturday on the road.
The Challenge Cup pits 1904 FC against Los Angeles Force.
The new pro league is sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
“It’s going to be more difficult,” he said. “I’m mentally and physically ready. I can see that from my teammates as well.”
NISA’s fall season runs from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
A round-robin tournament will be staged for the league’s nine clubs.
“It’s pretty much a showcase,” Ramos said. “There will be one winner from the West and one from the East. Both teams will get automatic playoff bids for the spring season.”
Home games will be played at the 70,561-seat SDCCU Stadium.
“It’s exciting because I feel very connected to San Diego,” Ramos said. “The first time I came here was to play in an under-11 tournament for a team from the Bay Area. I also played for San Diego State for two years. It’s a perfect place to train and live year-round. It’s got it all. There’s a large immigrant community. They love the game.”
Ramos attended a month-long training camp at Southwestern College in Chula Vista prior to being offered a contract.
A total of 30 players participated.
“The head coach, assistant coaches, ownership and I from the get go clicked very well,” he said. “We have the same vision in terms of what we expect. I’m 100 percent focused and committed to being here. I’m trying to make my mark as a leader on the team.”
Ramos played for ASC San Diego 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.
He 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. He earned all-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.
“The reason I like playing soccer is because it brings me a lot of joy,” Ramos said. “I always have the same mentality—to be competitive and the best player I can be every single day.”