Walker Zimmerman traded to Nashville SC: What it means going forward

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COLUMBUS, OH — MAY 11: Los Angeles FC defender Walker Zimmerman (25) controls the ball as he runs down the pitch during the game between the Columbus Crew SC and the Los Angeles FC at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on May 11, 2019. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

News – LAFC supporters will wake up this morning to huge news as Walker Zimmerman has been traded to Nashville SC. The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio, reported early this morning Zimmerman was traded “for a significant amount of allocation money and a 2020 International spot.” Reports from ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle indicate LAFC will receive $600k this year, $350k in 2021, as well as incentives for matches played. While there had been recent rumors of LAFC going in for Honduran right-back, Andy Najar. nobody could have guessed Zimmerman would be the player sent away.

Walker Zimmerman Traded to Nashville SC for Allocation Money and International Spot

Zimmerman featured in 27 league matches last season, starting in all but one. LAFC had signed Walker to a four-year contract extension just last year. While nobody expected this move, making it just days before Concacaf Champion’s League is even more baffling. Nashville, for their part, is set to receive a US men’s national team defender, entering his prime. Zimmerman will no doubt have a chip on his shoulder, as he was looking forward to the 2020 campaign with LAFC, now, he will be looking forward to helping improve yet another expansion side.

What This Means Moving Forward

Nobody, and I mean nobody, had Walker Zimmerman being dealt, especially to a team in the MLS. What makes this even more of a head-scratcher is that a significant move like this was made just days before kicking off the most important tournament of the club’s short existence. Concacaf Champion’s League starts on the 18th for LAFC, as they travel to face Liga MX side, León. How LAFC defense looks for that match, depends on the next moves they make. Should they bring in Najar, it is likely he will be given the RB spot, while Tristan Blackmon is moved to CB for the foreseeable future.

With CCL such an important tournament, and León being a tough opponent, expect head coach Bob Bradley, to go with a squad he is sure is match-fit and familiar with each other. That means a likely back-line of Harvey, Palacios, Blackmon, and likely Latif Blessing at RB for the tournament opener. While there is enough talent, on paper, to ensure this LAFC squad doesn’t miss a beat, there is now a sense of chemistry lost. This is no longer the same team from last season. Having now lost Lee Nguyen, Tyler Miller, and Walker Zimmerman, LAFC has taken a hit to their overall spirit. In addition to their ability, these were players who, in a lot of ways, were the heart of the squad.

To say that LAFC has weakened after this latest move, would be a bit of a stretch. While losing someone like Zimmerman is never ideal, if there is one team that can continue to press on in dominating fashion, it’s LAFC. Preseason stand-out, Tristan Blackmon, is the likely candidate to replace Zimmerman at CB. However, it wouldn’t surprise to see Jordan Harvey in that position as well. In addition, expect Latif Blessing to receive an extended run at RB, at least until a replacement is brought in. Having proven to make all the right moves thus far, all supporters can do is put their trust in Bob Bradley and company, and hope that this move doesn’t come back to haunt them.

 

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