It’s official: Walker Zimmerman will be in black-and-gold in 2019.
Los Angeles Football Club announced on Tuesday they have re-signed the defender to a four-year contract using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).
“Walker has emerged as one of the top center backs in MLS, and we are incredibly pleased to agree to a new, long-term deal that will keep him in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future,” said General Manager and EVP of Soccer Operations John Thorrington in a statement. “He is entering the prime years of his career, and I know I share our supporters’ excitement in looking forward to his continued contributions in Black & Gold for years to come.”
“I could not be more excited to continue my career with LAFC and build on what the group accomplished in our first year,” added Zimmerman. “I would like to thank the club for wanting me to be a part of the future here in Los Angeles, and I can’t wait to get started again.”
Zimmerman, 25, made 31 appearances across all competitions for LAFC in 2018, adding four goals and two assists. He was out of contract at the end of the 2018 season, after MLS reportedly nixed a previous TAM deal LAFC made to him during the season, and there was speculation the player could go abroad, leaving LAFC with nothing.
But with no deal announced outside of MLS and Zimmerman saying last week at U.S. Men’s National Team camp that he wanted to return to LAFC, it seemed likely a deal would get done. Now, it’s official.
Zimmerman at times drew criticism from some LAFC fans because the team’s style of play meant a lot of goals were conceded. Much of that stems from the attack-first style of play, however, and whatever Zimmerman’s flaws, he’s definitely one of the best American center backs in the league right now, a player capable of being a future MLS Best XI or Defender of the Year selection.
So, that’s one big dilemma wrapped up. Zimmerman can continue to play for the USMNT (no injuries!) with a free mind, and LAFC can work with him as the team’s anchor in defense for years to come.
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