As Alexi Lalas said last night, if you had to predict how far Walker Zimmerman would be on the list of heroes in the FC Dallas win last night, you would have Zimmerman pretty far down the list. Zimmerman came on as a substitute and scored the goal to send it into extra time and the winning penalty kick shot in the shootout to send FC Dallas to the Western Conference finals. For Zimmerman, the whole night was surreal to him.
“You’re always thinking you will score the game winning penalty kick and hoping it happens,” he said. “With the situation tonight, the likelihood of it is rare and we prepared all week in practice for a situation for this.”
When Zimmerman walked up to the spot for the game winning penalty shot, most would have butterflies, for Zimmerman, he was confident because of what goalkeeper Jesse Gonzales did earlier.
“Jesse did such a good job and it really takes the pressure of you,” he said. (Jesse then went to thank him for making the shot) “I even though that if I missed, we would be fine, but Jesse took a lot of the pressure off of me and credit to all the penalty shots we made.”
The win tonight was gratifying after what happened last year to Zimmerman and credits the fans for their involvement in the game.
“We knew Seattle knocked us out last year and have had our number,” he said. “The fans were great the entire game too.”
Most thought Zimmerman would not enter the game in that situation, but Zimmerman knew that it would be likely he and Tesho would go in at that moment of the game.
“We practiced all week for a situation like that,” he said. “I knew that if the game was tied heading into the seventy-fifth-eightieth minute that Blas, Tesho, and myself would be going into the game. We were ready for it.”