Tag Archives: Walker Zimmerman

Weekly Roundup: El Trafico, Dio Returns, Playoff Rally

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Playoffs Week is here!

El Trafico is coming back to the Banc for the Western Conference Semifinals.

Minnesota United fell to the LA Galaxy last night in a 2-1 loss at Allianz Stadium – advancing the Galaxy to the semifinals.

LAFC will host the much anticipated matchup on Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 PST.

Dio returns!

Major League Soccer reinstated Adama Diomande this past week. And he is eligible for selection for Thursday’s intense matchup.

Dio voluntarily entered MLS’ Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health (SABH) program on September 20 and was assessed by SABH program doctors.

He has been cleared to resume all team activities, including competition. Dio was even seen training with the team last weekend during a special event for the fans.

Roster Injury Updates

  • Six minutes into Canada’s Concacaf Nations League match last Tuesday, Mark-Anthony Kaye exited with an apparent leg injury. Although it has not been determined what type of injury the midfielder has acquired – Kaye is on a day-to-day basis as he continues to receive treatment.
  • Walker Zimmerman suffered a concussion after colliding with Colorado Rapids forward Kei Kamara in LAFC’s 3-1 win over the Rapids on Decision Day. The injury kept the defender out of international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team. According to Vince La Rosa, Zimmerman returned to full training last Wednesday and needs to get in as “many training sessions as possible to regain his fitness level” ahead of the playoffs.

The hype surrounding the playoffs is real!

LAFC players have been making numerous appearances around town all week in celebration of the upcoming playoffs.

Fans also attended a playoffs rally last night at the Banc to show their support for the Black & Gold.

Fans had the opportunity to enjoy live music, games, drink and food specials, and take photos with the Supporters’ Shield. They were also able to write a message for the players on the special “#ForLosAngeles” wall.

LAFC goes virtual

The club announced its official entry into eMLS, Major League Soccer’s competitive gaming league competing in the EA SPORTS™ FIFA franchise on October 17.

LAFC will host an “online selection qualifying tournament” in search of the club’s first-ever esports player to represent the club in eMLS competitions.

There will be three qualifying round competitions that will take place on October 26, November 1, and November 3 – top performers in the first three rounds will square off in the final on Wednesday, November 6.

Gold Links

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Making History: LAFC and Carlos Vela Cap Off the Regular Season On A High Note

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club closed the regular season in a 3-1 historic win over the Colorado Rapids on Sunday afternoon at Banc of California Stadium.

With the win the Black & Gold tied the all-time single-season goals record (85) and broke the all-time single-season points record (72). Plus, they finished the season with the best goal differential in league history (+48) and a 21-4-9 record.

The club controlled most of the first half with their efforts paying off as Carlos Vela scored in the 28th minute past an outstretched Tim Howard to give LAFC the lead and made history as he surpassing Josef Martinez’s record for the most goals in one season with a record-best of 34 goals.

Three minutes later, Tristian Blackmon heads in the ball to the Golden Boot winner inside the box. Vela score a stunning bicycle kick, his quick-fire brace doubling the team’s lead.

In the 40th minute, Kei Kamara’s header bounced off the post and into the back of the net putting the Rapids on the scoresheet – sending the sides into the half 2-1.

Eleven minutes after the restart, Vela capped off a historic season by scoring the hat-trick after a tapping in a goal off another cross by Blackmon.

Walker Zimmerman and Kamara clashed heads in the 70th minute. The Rapids player continued on but Walker was helped off the field after hitting the pitch face first. Steven Beitashour subbed in for the defender with twenty minutes left.

As a result, Zimmerman will not report to the United States Men’s National Team camp later this month as reported by LA Time’s Kevin Baxter:

The Black & Gold pushed forward to secure their historic win entering the playoffs on a high note.

Last week, LAFC clinched the 2019 Supporters’ Shield, securing the top spot in the Western Conference and a first-round bye in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. The Black & Gold will play the winner of Minnesota United and the Galaxy for the Western Conference Semifinal. Date and time will be announced at a later date.

Featured Image:  Imad Bolotok

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Tyler Miller, Walker Zimmerman talk Gold Cup journey, LAFC

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

In front of 17,307 energetic fans, the U.S. Men’s National Team won the group stage in a grueling 1-0 win over Panama; claiming all nine points ahead of the quarterfinals. And among the skillful roster are LAFC’s Tyler Miller and Walker Zimmerman.

Before the team heads to the east coast to face Curaçao in this Sunday’s matchup in Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to catch up with LAFC’s favorite duo in Kansas City to discuss their experiences with the senior team this tournament thus far and reflect on the club’s strong start to the season.

Prior to the start of the USMNT’s Gold Cup run, Zimmerman – a longtime veteran of the senior squad – appeared as a halftime substitution during the friendly against Venezuela and has made back-to-back appearances for Gold Cup play.

Zimmerman: “It’s been great. I mean anytime you get called into the national team, it’s an honor. But even more so, I’m getting to the point where I don’t want to be content. Get some games, get some starts, get some good performances – to try to build that momentum. [..] So it’s been great to be a part of these first two games. And get two wins.”

Tyler Miller earned his first call-up to the senior team earlier this year for January’s senior camp. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the cut to the game day roster and returned to LAFC for preseason.

Six months later, the 26-year-old keeper would get another opportunity as he was called up for the USMNT’s friendlies. Even though he appeared on the bench for both matches, Miller ultimately made the final Gold Cup roster, “[It’s] a dream come true to be a part of this team.”

Following Wednesday’s win, Miller is the only player on the roster yet to have made an appearance.

While the duo has been on the road, back in Los Angeles – LAFC has continued to defend the Banc for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, advancing to the quarterfinals last week in a thrilling 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes.

Miller and Zimmerman are excited about their club team: “I’ve had some late nights, where I watch some games of theirs. [I’m] looking forward to rooting them on from afar,” Zimmerman expressed.

Zimmerman went on to explain LAFC’s overall group mentality is greatly improved compared to last season:

“It’s a groundwork that we’ve put in place since the beginning of last year with how we want to be, our mentality. That’s one of the biggest differences from last year to this year, is the mentality of the whole group. To realize we’re a special group of players. We have a great locker room. And a very talented team.”

Miller added, “It’s always a challenge when you’re called into international duty for the guys to step up that haven’t really been getting a lot of minutes. I think the team has done well in the first two open cup games and that’s going to help propel them into the next three MLS games where we might have some guys still missing. I think this is a huge opportunity for guys to really get some valuable minutes because you never know. I mean the MLS season is very long and injuries happen. And everyone has to be ready.”

One of those players who has been earning some “valuable minutes” is Pablo Sisneiga, who has stepped up in Miller’s absence. And Tyler was thrilled for the young Mexican keeper:

“Pablo has done great. I’ve always got confidence in Pablo. I think he’s really performed well and has made some key saves for our team, especially with the RSL game. This last game we had too. I’m really happy for him because I know how hard he works. He’s a good kid and I’m glad to see him doing well.”

As the pair gear up to head to the east coast with the USMNT – the black-and-gold will kick off a packed schedule in Colorado on Friday.

Featured Image: Peaty Romano

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LAFC Weekly Roundup: USOC Round Of 16, Loans, Horta Leaves, Gold Cup Update, Gold Links

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Survive and advance

LAFC gets revenge once again at Rio Tinto Stadium as they knocked out Real Salt Lake of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in a 3-0 win advancing to next round. Carlos Vela, Lee Nguyen, and Adama Diomande scored all three goals of the night.

While four players: Tyler Miller, Walker Zimmerman, Peter-Lee Vassell, and Mark-Anthony Kaye; were away for international duty, the match saw Pablo Sisniega and Rodolfo “Fito” Zelaya make their club debuts helping LAFC stamp their ticket to the next round.

Full match recap here.

Next up. The black-and-gold will host the San Jose Earthquakes in the Round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup at the Banc of California Stadium on Thursday, June 20.

Batista and Jaković loaned out

Last week, LAFC loaned defender Lamar Batista to USL side, FC Tucson. This will be the 21-year-old’s second loan this year, as he appeared in two matches with Phoenix Rising during a brief loan stint.

Additionally, the club loaned defender Dejan Jaković to USL side, Las Vegas Lights FC. The Canadian, who appeared in 15 matches during the inaugural season, has yet to see any playing time this year.

Per the Right of Recall incorporated in the loan agreement, LAFC retains the right to recall Batista and Jaković at any point during the MLS regular season.

Bye, Horta

On Monday, the club announced it had transferred André Horta to Portuguese side, SC Braga; opening up a DP position on the roster. Returning to the club where he started his career, Horta is set to rejoin his brother and play on the same team again.

Horta first joined the team during last year’s summer transfer window from SL Benfica, appearing in 15 regular season matches, making five starts.

Who do you think will replace him?

The Italian Job

We’re getting another player? Well, maybe not this time.

Late Monday night, a rumor began circulating that LAFC was close to reaching an agreement with Italian International defensive midfielder, Daniele De Rossi. But LA Times’ reporter Kevin Baxter was quick to shut down rumors. And LAFC’s digital manager Vince La Rosa also chimed in to back up his statement.

Player’s Salaries Released

The MLS Players’ Union released their annual list of salaries for all players in the league. Including LAFC, whose full amount, according to the list, was over $13,000,000 across the roster this year.

In an article by Angels on Parade, they broke down the full salary for each player and discussed which player they believe is still underpaid, stating:

“Tyler Miller looks like the obvious choice. He did get a raise compared to last season, but it was a raise of less than $10,000. He’s solidified his status as a starter. He’s on the USMNT roster for the Gold Cup. The guy shouldn’t have to pick up the check this season.”

And I agree.

Carlos Vela is the fourth-highest player in the league with a base salary of a cool $4,500,000 and guaranteed compensation of $6,300,000. The now-departed Horta came in at second, while Diego Rossi was the third millionaire on the team.

Miller and Zimmerman join Gold Cup Roster

Tyler Miller and Walker Zimmerman have officially been added to the United States Men’s National Team roster for the 2019 Gold Cup. The duo appeared on the bench for the USMNT’s pair of final friendlies as they hosted Jamaica and Venezuela.

With Zack Steffen in goal both times, Miller remained on the bench. However, during the friendly against Venezuela – Zimmerman started the second half as a substitute with the team down 3-0 for his third senior appearance. Walker immediately picked up a caution for a foul in the 48th minute, but it didn’t stop him from becoming more involved on the pitch.

The USMNT open their Gold Cup slate on Tuesday, June 18 against Guyana in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Gold Links

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LAFC sets sights on playoffs ahead of road match in Chicago

Araceli Villanueva - LAFC/mlsfemale
Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club may still be sitting in third place following FC Dallas’ win this past weekend, but the black-and-gold remains in good faith as they look to secure a spot in their first-ever playoffs – following a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

Although the match against the Earthquakes had a low-performance attacking-wise, it displayed the importance of set pieces and saw the return of Adama Diomande. Including a strong-willed Walker Zimmerman scored a pair of headers, a first in his MLS career. Regardless, the win will prove to be beneficial as the black-and-gold moves forward.

LAFC’s magic number is now six.

During the press conference on Wednesday evening, Tyler Miller expressed the team’s mentality as being determined and uses their absence from the Lamar Hunt Open Cup Championship as motivation – moving forward for the final stretch:

“I think everyone’s done a great job. Moving forward we five really important games that could set up a nice situation for us getting a first-round bye in the playoffs,” Miller stated.

According to LAFC’s Digital Content Manager Vince La Rosa, LAFC can clinch a playoff spot by taking all three points in their upcoming pair of road matches in Chicago and Colorado, regardless of what Vancouver does. In addition to, possibly earning themselves a first-round bye.

Additionally, those six points would also bring “LAFC level for the highest points total” by an expansion team in its inaugural season – the Chicago Fire currently holds that record with 56 points in 2017.

La Rosa had previously reported that head coach Bob Bradley and the team discussed a goal of 60 points, and after the match against the Earthquakes, Bradley confirmed the goal.

With just five games left in the regular season with three on the road, I’m confident Bradley’s men can finish their 2018 campaign strong.

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