Isidro Metapan's Hector Ramos (left) in CONCACAF Champions League action against the LA Galaxy on September 18, 2013, in Carson, California. (Photo: German Alegria)
METAPAN, El Salvador -- In his first season with El Salvador’s Isidro Metapan, things have gone very well for Hector Ramos. The Puerto Rico international forward arrived at the club over the summer and has impressed with his play, scoring six goals in total. It was Ramos’ tally in the 87th minute in the second leg of the Apertura semifinal against Atletico Marte that advanced his team to Sunday’s final against FAS.
On Friday, Ramos took some time to speak with CONCACAF.com about the championship match, Isidro Metapan and his new life in Central America.
“We’re all very calm and motivated for the match,” said Ramos. “We know that it was a tough road in getting here to this final so we are very focused.”
Metapan’s run has been a surprise for many, considering that it needed to defeat Alianza in an elimination game to decide which finished in fourth place to earn a semifinal berth in the playoffs. For that reason, the 23-year-old points out that the team is not feeling any pressure.
“The training sessions have been very calm,” expressed Ramos. “There is no pressure. We’re continuing to work with plenty of motivation. Finals are to be enjoyed and to play in the big party is something very beautiful. It is like a dream.”
For Metapan, a great challenge awaits in trying to stop FAS forward Jefferson Viveros, who already has four goals in the post-season. Ramos believes that togetherness on the pitch will be key to a favorable performance and a positive result.
“If we do things well and we concentrate on our organization, I think that things will go well,” explained, Ramos, who has competed for Puerto Rico in every FIFA age category. “He (Viveros) is a player who can do damage to you but we are united, we are like a family and we are going to work very hard.”
To leave his native country where he played with the Puerto Rico Islanders and join a foreign team was initially difficult for Ramos, but he finds himself in a good situation with Metapan and it’s clear that he is very happy in his new home.
“I miss Puerto Rico because I started my professional career there and I left friends and family, but I have very much liked Metapan,” he declared. “It is a calm town with humble people and it looks as if everyone in the team is happy with my work.”
It was with the Islanders where Ramos’ play caught the attention of many, above all Isidro Metapan, against which he scored two goals in a 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League match. If Isidro Metapán become champions on Sunday, Ramos will have another chance to compete in the 2014-15 edition of the tournament, something that he greatly fancies.
“The CONCACAF Champions League is seen by many and to know that we can compete in another Champions League if we win on Sunday only gives us more motivation,” concluded Ramos.
NOTES: Isidro Metapan is one of only two teams (Honduras’ Olimpia is the other) to qualify for all six editions of the CONCACAF Champions League.