The expansion Los Angeles Football Club is still three months away from its first game but it has already made its first MLS trade, acquiring center back Walker Zimmerman from FC Dallas for cash and other considerations.
Zimmerman, 24, a five-year MLS veteran, started 77 regular- and post-season games for Dallas and slotted home the game-winning penalty kick in the team's Western Conference semifinal victory over Seattle two seasons ago.
He had a mixed year in 2017, though, making his debut with the senior national team in a February friendly with Jamaica, then missing a month of the MLS season with a strained MCL in his left knee that hampered him the rest of the season.
In exchange for Zimmerman, who made $205,000 last season according to figures released by the MLS players union, LAFC gave Dallas $500,000 in allocation money as well as the top spot in the allocation ranking. LAFC drops to 10th spot in the rankings, used to determine which MLS team has priority to acquire players such as core U.S. national members playing overseas.
Zimmerman becomes the third player on LAFC's first-team roster, joining Mexican forward Carlos Vela and Egyptian right back Omar Gaber. The team remains optimistic it will sign forward Diego Rossi soon, although talks with the Uruguayan teenager and his club team, Penarol, have hit repeated snags.
The league will conduct expansion draft Tuesday, in which LAFC can select a total of five players from the league's other 22 teams. That will be followed by waiver and re-entry drafts and the MLS free-agent signing period.
Zimmerman wasn't LAFC's only recent acquisition. The team announced Friday that former Galaxy and Chivas USA forward Juan Pablo Angel has joined the front office as a technical consultant. Angel, who is based in his native Colombia, will help find and sign players in South America, an area of focus for LAFC.