In-form striker Christian Ramirez can force his way back into the United States squad, believes Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass.
Capped twice by his country, the 30-year-old last featured for the USA in February 2019.
Ramirez has nine goals already this season for Aberdeen and Glass reckons that return must put him back on USA boss Gregg Berhalter’s radar.
The United States have two World Cup qualifiers this month and Berhalter has yet to name his squad.
The Stars and Stripes host group leaders Mexico in Cincinatti on November 12 before facing Jamaica away four days later.
United States sit second in their group with the top three automatically qualifying for World Cup 2022.
Glass reckons Ramirez’s cap bid and World Cup dream can be achieved if he continues scoring for the Dons.
Glass said: “I think any player that scores goals makes any international manager make decisions.
‘Christian has been doing that.
“We obviously believe how good he is.
“That’s why we brought him here.
“He’s proving himself to us, but there’s a huge amount of competition at the top end of the park for the United States.
“You’ll be well aware of some of the names who play for them.
“But he is going to be hungry to be involved in a World Cup year. Of course he is.
“And if he keeps scoring goals, I don’t see why not.”
A goal scoring international debut
The United States 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.
Ramirez made a scoring international debut in Berhalter’s first game in charge of United States in a 3-0 friendly defeat of Panama on January 28, 2019.
Dubbed ‘Superman’ during his time at Minnesota United, Ramirez 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.
United States have also arranged a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina on December 18 at the LA Galaxy’s Dignity Health Sports Park.
However, that is likely to be a two-week camp for MLS players as there is a 10-week break between the end of the MLS season and the next World Cup qualifiers.
Aberdeen face Hibs at Easter Road on the same day as that friendly.
United States boss Berhalter has selected Brenden Aaronson (21, Red Bull Salzburg), Timothy Weah (21, Lille), Gyasa Zardes (30, Columbus Crew) and 18-year-old sensation Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas) to lead the attack in his previous two squads.
Ramirez took a pay cut to move to Aberdeen from MLS side Houston Dynamo on a two-year contract in the summer to reignite his career.
The Californian made an immediate impact with a goal on his debut in the 5-1 Europa League defeat of Bk Hacken.
Silencing critics with goalscoring form
Beginning his Pittodrie career with a bang, Ramirez netted four goals in his first four games.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) October 28, 2021
However, the goals dried up with just one more in the next 10 games as Aberdeen endured a winless slump they have now emerged from with seven points from the last three games against Hearts, Rangers and Hibs.
Ramirez revealed in the aftermath of the 1-0 defeat of Hibs, where he scored the winner, that he and his wife had received messages of criticism during that goal drought.
Now back in form, Ramirez has netted in four of the last six league games.
Glass said: “I think he’s getting a lot more help from his team-mates.
“Christian looks like he’s got a belief that he can score again.
“To be fair to him, I think he was getting a lot of things pointed at him about not scoring.
“People were adding a game on every week when he didn’t score and you get hit with that stat after every game and before the next one.
“We’ve never lost belief in him.
“I don’t think he’s ever lost belief in himself either.
“In terms of his goalscoring, he’s right up there.”