Update: LAFC officially confirm the deal, with the allocation money acquired up to $1.25 million (officially, per the club: $600,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money (GAM), $350,000 in 2021 GAM, and a 2020 international roster spot from Nashville SC in exchange for defender Walker Zimmerman. LAFC will receive an additional $150,000 in GAM in both 2020 and 2021, if Zimmerman meets certain performance-based metrics.)
“In his two seasons in Los Angeles, Walker was a consummate professional and a great leader on and off the field,” said LAFC EVP & General Manager John Thorrington in a team statement. “He and his wife Sally played an integral role within the LAFC family and community, and he will always be a part of our history. On behalf of the club, we wish Walker and his family nothing but the best in his future.”
We’ll have more coverage on this deal forthcoming.
Blockbuster news, as Paul Tenorio of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Los Angeles Football Club are set to trade defender Walker Zimmerman to MLS expansion side Nashville SC. The return? Reportedly a “significant” amount of allocation money, possibly topping $1 million, and a 2020 international roster slot.
Zimmerman, 26, spent the last two seasons with LAFC after being traded there from FC Dallas ahead of the black-and-gold’s inaugural season. A big rugged center back, Zimmerman is both one of the best central defenders in MLS — as his 2019 MLS Best XI selection, U.S. Men’s National Team call-ups and track record of marshaling the league’s best defense last year shows.
However, Zimmerman has been excellent at times but can be inconsistent. Despite the Best XI selection he seemed to tail off considerably over the second half of last season, and made a costly mistake in LAFC’s playoff elimination loss to the Seattle Sounders.
But with LAFC set to kick off their season in just one week with arguably the biggest game in their history, at Club Leon to open their Concacaf Champions League history, this move is a head-scratcher. Zimmerman can make mistakes, but how will LAFC line up? Is another defender joining up to pair alongside Eddie Segura? Will Tristan Blackmon — promising but still quite green at the position — move over and play center back full time?
From a financial standpoint, LAFC look to be selling high with Zimmerman and there’s a level of understanding in that. From an on-field perspective, this one is a true head-scratcher, unless another move is imminent.
As for the veracity of the report, Tenorio has a stellar record in these kinds of stories so while it has not been officially confirmed by the team, it’s a highly credible report and 99% certain at this point. I’d expect an official announcement in short order.
What do you think? Does this move make sense for LAFC? Are you stunned? Let’s chat in the comments below!