Ramirez, who struck five times in the spring season as Minnesota finished fourth, had three goals and assisted on Danny Cruz’s goal in a 5-1 win over Carolina.
2016 Leading Scorers
8 Christian Ramirez (Minnesota)
6 Eamon Zayed (Indy Eleven)
5 Michel (Rayo OKC)
Puerto Rico owner Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks star, attended the expansion club’s first game, which drew a crowd of 6,474 in Bayamon. The home team took a 1-0 lead in the 74th minute on a goal by Puerto Rican Hector Ramos, who most recently played for El Salvador’s Aguila and Saudi Arabian club Al-Qadisiyah.
“I hope that I can score the first goal,” Ramos had said before the game. “It’d be such a joy for me, my family, and the island.”
He did indeed. But Nemanja Vukovic struck for Indy Eleven in stoppage time deny Puerto Rico a winning start to its first season and keep Indy Eleven undefeated in 2016.
Week 1, Results
Ft. Lauderdale 1 (Agbossoumonde 53) Miami FC 1 (Cvitanich 18)
New York 2 (Moffat 9, Mkosana 46+) Ottawa 1 (Paulo Junior 91+)
Puerto Rico FC 1 (Ramos 74) Indy Eleven 1 (Youla 92+)
Tampa Bay 1 (Hristov 13) Jacksonville 1 (Steinbeger 12)
Minnesota 5 (Ramirez 20, 24, 75, Pinho 46+, Calvano 47) Carolina 1 (Watson 90)
Rayo OKC 1 (Findley 33) Edmonton 1 (Salgueiro 93+)
In a rematch of the 2015 final, the New York Cosmos downed Ottawa, 2-1, while playing with a man advantage after the 8th minute ejection of Ottawa goalkeeper Romuald Peiser for a foul on Lucky Mkosana, who in his first start of 2016 also scored the deciding goal.