Zimmerman

(Photo courtesy of USMNT)

Nashville SC’s Walker Zimmerman was called into U.S. National Team camp by head coach Greg Berhalter on Thursday.

Nicknamed “Camp Cupcake,” the January camp is typically used to evaluate domestic players during the MLS offseason. In most years, the U.S. has scheduled friendlies at the end of the camp, but due to an international window at the end of the month with three world cup qualifiers, there will be no games played.

The team will practice for two weeks in Phoenix.

“Our focus for the next two weeks is to prepare the domestic-based players to be included in the World Cup qualifying training camp,” Coach Gregg Berhalter said. “This upcoming window presents an opportunity to move closer to our ultimate goal of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.”

Given Zimmerman’s performances in recent qualifiers, he would seem to be a near-cinch to be called in for the next set of qualifiers. He was named team captain four times in 2021, including in a recent 1-0 friendly win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he was named man of the match. In the biggest match of the year, Zimmerman anchored the U.S. backline in a 2-0 win over Mexico in November.

The U.S will host El Salvador in Columbus on Jan. 27, travel to Hamilton, Ontario to play Canada on Jan. 30 and conclude by playing Honduras at Allianz Field in St. Paul on Feb. 2.

Call-ups for January camp (club team; number of caps/number of goals):

Goalkeepers (3): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 13/0)

Defenders (6): George Bello (Atlanta United; 6/0), DeJuan Jones (New England Revolution; 0/0), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 1/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 21/3), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 15/3), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 23/2)

Midfielders (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 45/2), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; 1/1), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montrêal; 6/1), Sebastian Lletget (New England Revolution; 33/8), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 30/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 16/0)

Forwards (4): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 42/8), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 5/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 40/10), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 66/14)