Well, the mystery of whether U.S. Men’s National Team manager Gregg Berhalter actually likes Walker Zimmerman or not seems to have been answered, as the Los Angeles Football Club defender was in the starting XI and played the full 90 in the USMNT’s 4-0 win over Guyana to open Group D play at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup at Allianz Field on Wednesday.
Zimmerman played in the January friendlies, the first under Berhalter, but had either gone without a call-up or had been a reserve in the intervening months. While he’s been lights out for LAFC this season, it was unclear whether Berhalter simply wanted to evaluate the center backs in the player pool or if he didn’t really think of Zimmerman as the starter. Seems like that wasn’t an issue when it came time for the first competitive game in over a year and a half for the USMNT.
Paul Arriola was the star on the attacking end, with a goal, an assist and setting up another goal, which was technically scored by Gyasi Zardes (off his face!). New USMNT call-up Tyler Boyd scored a brace as well, as the U.S. rolled by Gold Cup debutant Guyana, but many weren’t entirely convinced by the Americans’ performance.
Zimmerman had a solid shift, and surprisingly seemed like the main man to push the ball up into attack with long balls and diagonals upfield. He’s part of a club team known for passing, but this isn’t a role he typically plays with LAFC.
As expected, the other LAFC player on the USMNT, goalkeeper Tyler Miller, was an unused substitute in the match, as he awaits his first international cap.
The U.S. are next in action on Saturday against Trinidad & Tobago, who you may recall beat the USMNT in the final World Cup qualifying game and knocked the U.S. out of the World Cup. Should be a fun one!
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