CHARLOTTE – Christian “Titi” Ortíz, Charlotte FC’s first-ever number 10, was signed five days ago and has already hit the ground running in preseason. One of the first things that stands about Titi is well, Titi.
The nickname has a unique origin that he attributes to his days as a kid in Argentina.
“When I was young, I was a mischievous little kid,” said Titi laughing. “We lived in a house that was surrounded by trees, so every time I disappeared, you could find me hanging from the trees. And that’s why they gave me the nickname Titi, after the Titi monkey.”
Not many people may know that story, but somebody who most likely does is Charlotte FC Head Coach Miguel Ramírez who built a strong relationship with Titi in their time together at Independiente Del Valle.
Titi had some of his most productive years of his career playing under Ramírez and credits a lot of his success to the Spanish coach.
“This [opportunity] opened up with Miguel, who is a coach that I know well and gives me a lot of confidence.
“I’m really happy to be back with Miguel and the rest of the coaching staff. At Independiente, it was a great year, it was a year that I really enjoyed.
“Playing under Miguel helped me a lot as a person and player. I think MLS is a great league for Miguel to showcase his ability.”
Ramírez’s game model has naturally been a common topic of discussion throughout preseason and there are few players on the roster that are as familiar with it as Ortiz.
“The attractive part of Miguel’s system is that it is a positional one, which all the big teams use. When the team understands his game model, you always have the ball and passing options in it. Most importantly, it is a lot of fun to play in.”
Coach Ramírez isn't the only familiar face for the Argentinian at Charlotte FC.
“I played with Franco at Independiente, and it’s really great to be with him again. I am also familiar with Alcívar because I played against him in my time in Ecuador. And of course, I recognize Fuchs from winning the Premier League.”
As Charlotte FC’s first-ever number ten, Titi will be among the most recognizable players on the pitch due to the significance and history of the iconic number. It’s a number that brings certain expectations and pressure, but he stresses that it’s not about the individual.
“It isn’t about the individual, it’s about the team as a whole. When the team gets some confidence, I think we will do really well. There are great players here and the training sessions are intense. The responsibility to perform is something I have at every club, but I always strive to do my absolute best.”
From spending the first years of his professional career in Uruguay, to playing in his homeland of Argentina and all the way to Mexico in Tijuana, Titi Ortiz has experienced more soccer on this side of the Atlantic than most. However, being a part of a Club that is starting from scratch is certainly a first.
“It’s beautiful. This is an opportunity that few players get in their careers. I’m very excited and happy and look forward to starting and being a part of this project. Miguel’s game model isn’t easy, but with time we’ll get it and hopefully bring a lot of happiness to the fans.”