FC Dallas and Walker Zimmerman Part Ways After Frustrating End to 2017

FRISCO - After a frustrating second half of 2017, FC Dallas and defender Walker Zimmerman have parted ways as the 24-year-old was traded to expansion side LAFC on Sunday.

Originally a 2013 first-round SuperDraft pick, Zimmerman played in 89 matches for FCD over his first five seasons, including a breakout 2016 season that saw him make 30 starts and earn his first U.S. Men’s National Team call-up to start 2017. The rest of the year, however, wasn’t so peachy for the Georgia native.

After spraining his MCL in late May, the defender would miss a five-game stretch and would start just eight of the remaining 17 games, including five straight appearances on the bench to close out the season.

“Right before the Gold Cup, Walker got injured and I think that [ill-timed injury] brought him down mentally and it affected him a little bit him when he came back,” Technical Director Fernando Clavijo said Sunday. “It’s not going to be an easy one to replace him, but at the same time this is our job that we need to do.”

FC Dallas’ struggles over the final months were highlighted, in part, by uncharacteristic struggles from Zimmerman, Matt Hedges and much of the club’s defensive face - a face that will have a much different look with just four defenders under contract for 2018.

In return, LAFC sent Dallas $500,000 in combined allocation money and the coveted top spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking, all of which will go a long way in helping the club re-build a roster that currently has eleven open spots heading into the new year.

“It is very important,” Clavijo said of the return for the defender. “We needed something where we can go out there and get the players we may be looking for. This gives us an opportunity to look at different players that can help us win championships.”