Aberdeen striker Christian Ramirez hopes his red-hot scoring form can propel him back into the United States international squad.
More than two years since his last cap, Ramirez is determined to create a ‘noise’ with a goal run to force himself back onto the radar of US boss Gregg Berhalter.
The 30-year-old has made an immediate impact at Pittodrie with four goals in five games.
Capped twice by his country, Ramirez aims to continue that scoring streak to reignite his cap dream – starting in the Europa Conference League tie against Breidablik at Pittodrie on Thursday.
The United States national team are on a high having won the CONCOCAF Gold Cup on August 2 with a 1-0 defeat of Mexico in the final in Nevada.
US boss Berhalter will begin the World Cup qualifying campaign next month with group ties against El Salvador away on September 3 and Canada at home three days later.
Ramirez said: “Gregg Berhalter knows I am only a call away if he needs me in any role he wants me.
“Even if it is just for a game or two, if somebody goes down.
“I can only control what I do. I know if I continue to perform like I am and continue to get goals that will make noise in itself. ”
Ramirez has previously played, and scored, for his country under Berhalter.
He made a scoring debut for his country in Berhalter’s first game in charge of United States in a 3-0 friendly defeat of Panama on January 28, 2019.
Following a three-week training camp under Berhalter, the US boss handed out a number of debuts against Panama in his first chance to see the squad in action.
Ramirez , who was then at Los Angeles FC, was introduced as a substitute for his debut cap in the 84th minute and netted just five minutes later.
The Aberdeen striker was last capped for his country in a 2-0 friendly defeat of Costa Rica on February 2, 2019 when featuring as a second half substitute.
Ramirez’ main focus is on firing in goals for the Dons in Europe and domestically, with the hope a by-product will be an international recall.
He said: “I am just focused on each game and trying to get better.
“It had been a while since I played consistently.
“I can’t tell you how much I have missed playing in this sort of environment.”
🔴 That winning smile 😃
— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) August 6, 2021
Ramirez happy to help land US stars
Ramirez will not be the only United States international to play in the Premiership this season as Hibs have signed Orlando winger Chris Mueller, 24, on a pre-contract.
Capped twice, Mueller, runner-up for the 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year award, will join Hibs on January 1 following the conclusion of the MLS season.
Ramirez took a wage cut to secure his transfer to Aberdeen from Houston Dynamo and reckons the Scottish Premiership is an attractive proposition for players across the Atlantic.
He is happy to sell the positives of moving to Pittodrie to any United States-based players.
He said: “I have told the gaffer if he wants me to convince anyone to come across from abroad I will be his first recruiter.
“The game continues to grow and evolve here.
“It is attractive and the history of this club speaks for itself.
“It also bodes well for me.”
Best goal-scoring start since Adam Rooney
Signed on a two-year contract until summer 2023, Ramirez was so prolific in front of goal during his time at Minnesota United the club’s fans nicknamed him ‘Superman’.
He has quickly been embraced as a scoring hero by the Red Army having netted four times in five games, with four starts.
Ramirez netted on his Dons debut in the 5-1 Europa Conference League demolition of Sweden’s BK Hacken before finding the back of the net on his Premiership debut in the 2-0 defeat of Dundee United in the league opener.
He then hit a double in the 3-2 defeat of Breidablik in Iceland in the third qualifying round first leg.
Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass opted to rest Ramirez for the 2-1 defeat of Livingston with the striker introduced as a substitute in the second half.
Ramirez is set to return to the starting line-up against the Icelanders in the return leg at Pittodrie.Ramirez’ quick-fire four-goal salvo is the strongest start to an Aberdeen career by a striker since Adam Rooney in the 2013-14 season.
Like Ramirez, on his arrival from Oldham, Rooney netted four goals in his first five games.
Rooney would go on to net in eight of his first 11 games for Aberdeen, as well as scoring the winning penalty in the League Cup final shoot-out defeat of Inverness Caley Thistle.
It is hoped Ramirez’ goalscoring prowess will not just match, but exceed, that of Rooney in his debut season.
Ramirez insists he was able to have a rapid start to his Pittodrie career because he knew what to expect in Scotland.
He said: “I know the league (Premiership) and I know what is expected.
“Sam Nicholson (former Hearts winger and Scotland U21 international) was one of my team-mates at Minnesota.”
I feel like a kid again in the stadium, playing this game I love
For the first time in almost 18 months, Pittodrie will be back to normal operating capacity when they face Breidablik.
Ramirez is relishing playing in front of a packed stadium in front of the Red Army.
He said: “I am just excited and I feel like a kid again in the stadium, playing this game I love.”