UPDATE, 1:03 pm ET: It's official: Walker Zimmerman is headed to Nashville.
Nashville SC have acquired the USMNT center back from LAFC in exchange for a total $950,000 in General Allocation Money ($600,000 in 2020 GAM, $350,000 in 2021 GAM) as well as a 2020 international roster spot. LAFC will receive an additional $150,000 in GAM in both 2020 and 2021, if Walker meets certain performance-based metrics.
“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,” Nashville GM Mike Jacobs said in a club statement. “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 has won the Supporters' Shield with both LAFC and FC Dallas during an already impressive career in MLS, with 140 appearances across seven seasons. He has 12 caps with the US national team.
“In his two seasons in Los Angeles, Walker was a consummate professional and a great leader on and off the field,” said LAFC EVP & GM 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.”
ORIGINAL, 9:55 am ET: A blockbuster move would see US men’s national team center back Walker Zimmerman traded from LAFC to expansion side Nashville SC for upwards of $1 million in allocation money and a 2020 international roster spot, according to Paul Tenorio of The Athletic.
The report comes seven days before LAFC are set to face Club Leon in the Concacaf Champions League on Feb. 18, with Zimmerman a central figure for the Black & Gold the last two seasons. He started 51 games across that span, helping LAFC bring home the Supporters’ Shield in 2019. Zimmerman often partnered alongside Eddie Segura.
Nashville have often turned to intra-MLS moves when assembling their inaugural roster, with their center-back corps including Jalil Anibaba, Dave Romney and SuperDraft pick Jack Maher. However, the former FC Dallas standout is another category, having taken home a Best XI selection in 2019.
The move would also resurface memories of last winter’s blockbuster defender trade, when Ike Opara was acquired by Minnesota United from Sporting Kansas City for upwards $1 million in allocation money. It should also be noted that Zimmerman signed a four-year deal with LAFC in January 2019, making him one of the league’s highest-paid defenders. His 2019 salary is listed by the MLS Players' Union as $600,000.