MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota United has traded Christian Ramirez to LAFC in exchange for as much as $1 million in allocation money, the clubs confirmed on Monday night.
The expansion Major League Soccer club sent a package of $250,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2018, $250,000 in GAM in 2019, $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2018, $200,000 in TAM in 2019 and up to $200,000 in future allocation money based on performance to the Twin Cities side.
"Christian has shown a consistent ability to score goals," LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said in a statement. "We're excited to have him join the club."
The Southern California native will join an LAFC side that sits fourth in the Western Conference, but has been short of goals in the past month.
LAFC signed 20-year-old Uruguayan Diego Rossi to a young designated player contract, but he's struck just three times in his past 15 league appearances. Adama Diomande scored nine goals in his first seven appearances after arriving midseason from Hull City, but is goalless in his past four -- and limped out of Sunday's 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls with a reported hamstring injury. The club's third forward, Marco Urena, has yet to score in the league this season.
Ramirez has spent the past four-plus seasons in Minnesota, joining the club in 2014, when it competed in the NASL. The 27-year-old won the Golden Boot in the U.S. and Canadian second division twice, in 2014 and 2016.
Since moving up to MLS with the Loons ahead of their inaugural season in 2017, Ramirez has scored 21 times in 50 appearances. But a scoring drought in the first half of this season, netting just four times in his first 17 appearances, led United to seek out more attacking depth.
And on July 10, Minnesota signed Colombian striker Angelo Rodriguez to a DP contract. Rodriguez started in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders, the first match he was available for selection. Ramirez was an unused substitute.
"I think it's a feel-good story for both sides," Minnesota United sporting director Manny Lagos said in a statement. "You have a young man who became a very good soccer player and launched his professional career with Minnesota United.
"We're excited that he was a part of some really special years with us in NASL and MLS and it's somebody we've been very proud to have as a part of our club for years and we are happy to give him an opportunity to go back home to California to continue his career. Moving forward, this benefits us as a club with resources to put toward building for the future."