The "Ramos Brothers", Goalkeeper Dylan Ramos and center-back Josh Ramos, are called up to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands national soccer team during the international break this June. They are the two first Lakeland United FC players to receive a call-up for a national team.
Lakeland´s Director of Soccer, Tauan Salgado, celebrated the opportunity for Dylan and Josh to play for the Virgin Island: " To have Josh and Dylan representing their national team is everything we strive for as a club. As a bridge program, our goal is to develop our players to the point where they can explore the best doors and opportunities that their level allows them to. We try to be very honest with them that the professional level is some distant to everybody anywhere. But at the same time we encourage them to dream with it and, most importantly, work for it every single day of their lives.
Dylan and Josh are extremely professional in all they do on a regular basis. Being call up for theit National Team is a huge accomplishment and makes us very proud of them and is an honor for our program. But we make sure they know that they need to keep it going and working for more. We are all rooting for the U.S. Virgins Islands on this next CONCACAF Nations League here in Lakeland. They have a fan base here in town", says Tauan.
That´s not the first time Dylan and Josh will play for their home country: "I received my first call-up for the World Cup qualifiers in 2021", says Dylan. "My brother (Josh) was already with the team and they were in need of a Goalkeeper, so I had the chance with other five goalies", remember.
"We had a couple of camps leading up to now, so I worked harder and harder, especially because a goalkeeper has a lot of responsibilities so I was willing to give whatever it took. As they made the final list, my name was chosen along with my 22 other teammates".
Both players said they are feeling something unique with this opportunity: "The feeling is like no other. Knowing I get to represent my country at 22 years old is something I only dreamed of as a young boy. Playing against top class countries really is a life-changing experience", says Josh Ramos.
Dylan shares the same feeling: "It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before, probably the biggest adrenaline rush I’ve had. I always dreamed as a kid to be playing as a professional and to now be representing my country and to be fighting for a title against big countries has made me more desperate to be the best player and person I can be".
The brothers also thanked Lakeland United, who helped them to improve as human and soccer players: "Lakeland United has been the prime influence on getting me where I am now and are continuing to shape me into becoming the best version of myself. The professional coaching, training, players, and staff all have the biggest role in it because they expect nothing less than giving your all at all times and only want you to be your best version. I give a lot of my thanks to them for continuing to push me to my dreams and providing me with the best tools I need to improve every day", says Dylan.
Josh agrees with her brother: "United has played such a big role in developing me into the athlete I am today. From the quality of training every day to the professional atmosphere that is demanded, it has really shaped me into the best version of myself".
The US Virgin Islands National Soccer Team will play four games during this international break: June 3rd, away, against Saint Maarten; June 6th, at home, against Turks and Caicos; June 11th, at home again, against Bonaire; and June 14th, away, against Bonaire.
The US Virgin Island is in CONCACAF Nations League C, Group 1.