The former LAFC centerback could become the most expensive defender in league history after joining the expansion side
MLS expansion side Nashville SC completed a blockbuster trade on Tuesday as the club acquired Walker Zimmerman from Los Angeles FC in a deal that could make the U.S. men’s national team center back the most expensive defender in league history.
Nashville will send $600,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money (GAM), $350,000 in 2021 GAM and a 2020 international roster spot to LAFC in exchange for the defender, while last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners could receive an additional $300,000 if performance goals are met.
“Walker Zimmerman is a player who we had our sights on when we first started to assemble this group, and we are very excited to add his on and off-field abilities and leadership to our roster,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs. “He has proven success at the domestic and national team levels and fits the mold of the kind of player and person that our club represents.”
Zimmerman comes to Nashville after emerging as an All-Star with LAFC. Zimmerman started 51 regular season games during his time in Los Angeles, tallying five goals and two assists during that two-year period.
In 2019, Zimmerman earned his first All-Star appearance while also being recognized in the MLS Best XI after anchoring the league-best LAFC defense that allowed just 37 goals in the regular season.
“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. “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.”
Zimmerman’s starring role with LAFC followed his emergence with FC Dallas, with whom Zimmerman made 110 appearances while winning a Supporters’ Shield and a U.S. Open Cup.
Internationally, Zimmerman has earned 12 caps for the U.S. men’s national team as he battles the likes of John Brooks, Aaron Long, Tim Ream, Miles Robinson and Matt Miazga for a role heading into World Cup qualifying later this year.
The addition of Zimmerman adds another familiar face for Nashville SC, who have already brought in USMNT veterans Dax McCarty and Daniel Lovitz to go along with MLS-experienced players like David Accam and Anibal Godoy.
Nashville currently has one Designated Player on their roster in Hany Mukhtar, who moved to the club from Brondby.
The club will begin its first MLS campaign with a major challenge as Nashville will play host to Atlanta United for the club’s first match on February 29.