The Los Angeles Football Club and defender Walker Zimmerman have agreed on a new four-year contract, the team announced Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not released but the club said it will use targeted allocation money to pay for it, meaning Zimmerman will make more than the MLS maximum budget charge of $530,000.
Zimmerman, who earned $235,000 last season according to the MLS players union, declined a contract extension last September to listen to offers in Europe. But he apparently had a change of heart this winter and decided to stay with LAFC.
“They made it an organization you want to be a part of. That’s a big factor,” said Zimmerman, who is in camp with the U.S. national team in Chula Vista. “Whenever you’re in negotiations or out of a contract it’s ‘what was the experience like?’ For me it was positive and that goes a long way in terms of future aspirations.
“L.A, it’s a place my wife and me would love to be.”
Zimmerman, 25, a six-year MLS veteran, started 26 matches and matched a career high with four goals for LAFC last year, helping the team reach the playoffs in its inaugural season.
“Walker has emerged as one of the top center backs in MLS,” said John Thorrington, LAFC’s general manager and head of soccer operations. “He is entering the prime years of his career.”
Zimmerman’s return is big for LAFC since the team lost captain and fellow center back Laurent Ciman to Dijon of the French Ligue 1 last August. (Ciman has since returned to MLS, with Toronto FC.)
LAFC is also close to an agreement that would bring another center back, Brazilian Danilo Silva, back for 2019 as well. Silva joined the team on loan from Internacional last summer and appeared in 10 regular-season games.