That was a shock.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around Sunday’s news that Walker Zimmerman has been traded to Los Angeles FC for some funny money and the top spot in the allocation order.
Zimmerman was a fan favorite, a rising star, a core of our dominant defense in 2016. His play going into 2017 earned his way into the USMNT conversation. A knee injury stalled him in late spring, and he wasn’t able to recover. Now, he’s gone - traded to make way for a completely remodeled defense. How could this fall apart so quickly? How did Zimmerman work his way into Pareja’s doghouse? What the hell is FC Dallas doing here?
My opinion: I don’t know. I don’t know what FC Dallas is planning here. Do they have a USMNT caliber player waiting in the wings? Some big signing? Are they going to trust the youth? Did Walker Zimmerman really take a step back and burn bridges with the coaching staff? Was the deal simply too good to pass up? I. DON’T. KNOW.
Rather than wrestling with this on my own, I’ve asked my fellow Big D Soccer colleagues to weigh in.
Jack Rouse- There has to be something going on behind the scenes
Going into the 2017 season Dallas had the best center back pairing in MLS. Hedges and Zimmerman would ensure that even without Mauro Diaz Dallas would be competitive. That isn’t exactly how things worked out as Hedges could never find last year’s form and Zimmerman spent the year dealing with injuries. Or did he? The only way that I can justify this trade is if Zimmerman was begging to leave. I cannot fathom that Dallas does not have an upgrade at center back available immediately. If they didn’t, then this trade is an acknowledgment that they are in rebuilding mode.
Yes, Zimmerman was on the list of players we wouldn’t be surprised if they were sold this off-season, but that was on the condition he was going to Europe. He had the exposure earlier in the season competing in the CCL and he didn’t perform. This horizontal move to another MLS team (an expansion team that is unlikely to take the league by storm in their first season like Atlanta) doesn’t add up. I had no problems with Walker going to Europe. It would be best for his development as a USMNT player, it would grab FCD a nice piece of cash and international recognition, but this move does none of those things. The money isn’t bad, but I can’t imagine FC Dallas making a move for an allocation list player, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I expect Dallas to trade away the allocation spot and throw their money at a few low risk/high reward signings and call it an off-season.
Unless Zimmerman wanted to move, then I can’t figure this out. Maybe he was squabbling with Pareja this season and that’s why he never could seem to get on the team sheet. We attributed it to injury, but this move makes me think. I’m disappointed in the front office for letting such a promising player go to a rival. Zimmerman was a piece for the future and I’m beginning to question the club’s 2018 ambitions.
El Chico Carmona - Change of scenery
Zim looks to have lost his confidence following his injury, and if not the case, then Pareja has lost confidence in Zim.
Either way, Zim will benefit from a change of scenery and FCD benefits from him.
It's sad to see Zim go, but hopefully, it's for the best. I think this means Fig will be starting at CB fulltime next season, and you'll see a battle between Chala and Hollingshead for the starting LB spot.