For USA’s Zimmerman, the future is now

Walker Zimmerman (pictured) has played in five career Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League games, all with FC Dallas. (Photo: Mexsport)

CARSON, California -- Walker Zimmerman is thinking big this year -- for club and country.

After the United States failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 24-year-old center back wants to create the right environment for 2022 qualifying now, not in the future.

"There's a lot of motivation from a lot of players, myself included, to make sure that this doesn't happen again," Zimmerman said at the U.S. national team camp, being held here at the National Training Center.  "We can become a team that sticks together, that we can approach '22 from this day.  We don't want to get serious come qualifying time.  We want to set the tone now."

Zimmerman has also high hopes for himself and Los Angeles Football Club, which will debut in Major League Soccer this year.

"I don't want to set any goal too low," said Zimmerman, who has earned one cap.  “I want to make it attainable, but something that I am chasing for.  On an individual level, it would be getting called into each camp.  It's about becoming a staple here and taking every opportunity seriously."

While many MLS expansion teams struggle in their inaugural season, Zimmerman has other plans.

"We're chasing championships, we're chasing trophies," the former FC Dallas standout finished.  “That's something we want to be very clear about up front.  We're not coming in as an expansion team hoping to compete.  We want to dominate.  We want to set a tone, set a culture within our locker room of winning.  That's what our goal is going to be, to walk away with a trophy."