When information of Walker Zimmerman’s commerce to Nashville SC flashed throughout Mark Anthony Kaye’s cellphone Tuesday morning, the Los Angeles Soccer Membership midfielder was descending in the elevator of his residence with a neighbor, on his solution to his automotive.
It shocked him sufficient to evoke an audible response, which startled his neighbor as a lot because the information startled Kaye.
“I used to be in shock. The girl subsequent to me most likely thought somebody handed away or one thing. I didn’t see it coming. You don’t see any of this stuff coming,” Kaye mentioned. “I simply want him the most effective. It’s not a transfer that claims he did one thing unsuitable. If something, it’s a transfer that claims he’s finished effectively.”
On Tuesday, LAFC introduced it had traded the linchpin of its backline through the membership’s first two seasons to Nashville in change for $600,000 in 2020 Normal Allocation Cash, $350,000 in 2021 GAM, and a 2020 worldwide roster spot. LAFC will obtain a further $150,000 in GAM in 2020 and 2021 if Zimmerman meets sure performance-based metrics.
If the 26-year-old defender meets these performance-based situations, the deal will eclipse Sporting Kansas Metropolis’s switch of Ike Opara to Minnesota United final offseason as essentially the most profitable switch for a defender in Main League Soccer historical past.
The commerce is a win from a monetary standpoint, doubtlessly considered one of record-breaking proportions. LAFC bought excessive on Zimmerman, whom the staff acquired from FC Dallas in its first switch forward of its inaugural season. Nevertheless, Nashville’s motivation to get a deal finished shortly means LAFC has misplaced arguably its greatest defender only a week earlier than the staff’s CONCACAF Champions League debut towards Membership Leon in Mexico.
“It’s ironic that after we the place n enlargement staff, we noticed Walker as such a key piece to accumulate from FC Dallas at the moment two years in the past, and now Nashville is in the identical boat,” LAFC VP and basic supervisor John Thorrington mentioned whereas addressing the media after follow Tuesday. “Walker will all the time be remembered for the function that he performed right here in these first two years.”
Thorrington made it clear that Nashville’s beneficiant supply was solely considered one of a number of components that led to LAFC’s determination to maneuver Zimmerman, who signed a contract extension with LAFC price roughly $2.four million earlier than the beginning of final season. The LAFC entrance workplace stays energetic, and now has a windfall of cash and a world spot to work with, however Thorrington additionally expressed confidence in the power of the gamers at present with the membership to have success in the approaching Champions League match and past.
“It got here collectively pretty shortly. Nashville was very clear in their intent on signing Walker and confirmed how a lot they valued him. They offered a major supply for him,” Thorrington mentioned. “For Nashville, it was an pressing want, which they made very clear. We are able to’t all the time simply do issues on our timeline. Walker has been away with the nationwide staff and performed these video games for them, and we’ve been shifting on with our preseason.”
Zimmerman didn’t play in LAFC’s preseason, so in the context of coaching and preparation in 2020, the commerce doesn’t impression the work the staff has finished in the previous month. Centerback Eddie Segura, on his means again from nationwide obligation with Colombia, is a staple in the center of LAFC’s protection. Tristan Blackmon, Jordan Harvey and Dejan Jakovic have all seen minutes at centerback this preseason. Latif Blessing has continued to place in work at proper again.
Zimmerman’s departure will ship a ripple impact although your entire LAFC backline, as each defender on the staff must tackle a few of the weight to account for the loss.
“We’re a membership that continues to evolve. In the beginning, we talked about occasions after we would possibly promote gamers. This was a type of conditions, however we really feel like different guys are shifting alongside rather well,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley mentioned. “We’ve got a number of good gamers, a number of good issues that occur day by day in follow. We all the time transfer gamers round to completely different positions, so we be ok with that but in addition proceed to look exterior for methods to enhance.”
LAFC will play its closing preseason match Wednesday towards Toronto FC in a match open to the general public. The match will function the membership’s closing tuneup earlier than touring to Mexico to face Leon on Feb. 18 in the primary CONCACAF Champions League match in LAFC historical past.