Transfer Tracker

Nashville give Walker Zimmerman DP deal, sign Hany Mukhtar to extension


Nashville SC have signed defender Walker Zimmerman and midfielder Hany Mukhtar to contract extensions through the 2025 MLS season, the club announced Friday.

Zimmerman has also been elevated to Designated Player status, becoming the fourth center back and second American defender to receive the roster tag in league history. Mukhtar, who was already a DP, has a 2026 option year with his new deal.

“We have really approached every aspect of this club with intentionality and extending Hany and Walker is just another example of that,” majority owner John Ingram said in a release. “Both of these guys have the right mix of leadership and talent on the pitch as well as off. Making sure we can keep these pillars of the team intact through 2025 has been an important priority.”

Zimmerman, 28, has earned two straight MLS Defender of the Year nods since being acquired in a trade from LAFC before the Coyotes’ inaugural season. He’s chipped in seven goals and three assists in 55 regular-season games en route to back-to-back Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearances.

That form has helped Zimmerman become a pillar of the US men’s national team’s defense. He featured in 10 qualifiers as they reached the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

“This is an exciting moment for my family, our fans and this organization,” Zimmerman said in a release. “I’ve truly felt at home here in Nashville and we’ve created incredible memories since arriving in 2020. I’ve experienced personal success on and off the pitch in this city, both of which wouldn’t have been possible without my family and the quality of teammates, staff and executives we have at this club.

“I’m truly grateful for what we have experienced here so far, but this is just the beginning. We have a core group that is all in and I know we’ll continue to work hard and bring success for years to come.”

Mukhtar, 27, has 22 goals and 20 assists in 54 regular-season matches since joining as Nashville’s first DP before their 2020 expansion season from Brondby in Denmark. The German midfielder was a ​Landon Donovan MLS MVP finalist following the 2021 season.

“I couldn’t be more excited to sign an extension with Nashville SC,” Mukhtar said in a release. “The city and our great fans have embraced me since I arrived. I want to continue to play for them, make memories for them and be a player they all look up to. I have really enjoyed the city of Nashville since I arrived and what it represents, and I now make it my mission to bring them silverware.”

Both players were voted to the 2021 MLS Best XI. The moves were announced before Nashville debut GEODIS Park on Sunday vs. the Philadelphia Union (4 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes).