One figure the Olympic Yanks will count on heavily is Walker Zimmerman, the veteran center back set to occupy one of the three slots available for overage players. The Nashville SC star helps fortify a position in which the current U-23 player pool is light at present, and with 42 senior USMNT caps, provides inspirational leadership.

“With Walker, my first ever senior team camp, he was there, and we have the same agent. So going into camp he was kind of like a big brother to me, and he helped me a lot in that first camp just to find my way around and get used to the group and be in that environment, and he’s done the same thing here off the field,” recalled U-23s midfielder Tanner Tessmann, an FC Dallas homegrown now at Venezia, whom he just helped earn promotion from Italy’s second division back to Serie A.

“He’s a great guy for the locker room, he’s integrated really well with everyone here. So I think a lot of guys look up to him and definitely try to learn from him on and off the field, just how he does his thing. He’s very professional and yeah, we’re really happy to have him as one of the overage players.”

Tessmann and his Venezia teammate Gianluca Busio, a Sporting KC academy product, look like key contributors in the center of the park. Meanwhile, Orlando City’s Duncan McGuire is a leading contender to lead the line at the No. 9 position despite recently picking up a shoulder injury in MLS action; the Creighton alum said on Thursday that his shoulder is “feeling good” and he expects to be available for selection to the Olympic roster.


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