Steven Beitashour and Walker Zimmerman have yet to share a backline together, but they’re already in sync.
Speaking before the first preseason friendly in Club history, the two defenders echoed the same sentiment: Despite the competition, this match is all about fine tuning.
“Get sharp,” said Beitashour after training on Wednesday. “I think that’s the point of these. A lot of guys had a month, two months off. I think the main thing is just getting your feet under you, getting your touches under you. Especially when you are fatigued, making sure your touch is sharp. That’s the main thing for preseason.”
Having returned to training with LAFC from the U.S. Men’s National Team January Camp, Zimmerman agreed with his new teammate.
“You always want to go out there and compete anytime you play. At the same time, we know that there’s a lot to build off of,” Zimmerman said about the upcoming match. “I am sure we are going to come out trying to win the game, but at the end of the day, it’s about getting more organized, learning more about how we want to play, and using it as a learning process rather than just a results-based thing.”
Opposing LAFC in their first friendly will be Toronto FC. The reigning MLS Cup champs come to Los Angeles having strong connections to their opponents. LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley is, of course, the father of midfielder Michael Bradley. While it’ll be a reunion of sorts for Beitashour, who played the full 90 in Toronto’s MLS Cup victory in December.
However, don’t expect the former TFC defender to roll out the welcome mat for his former team.
“It’s just one of those things, it’s a game,” Beitashour said.
“It will be nice to see the guys. Once we’re out on the field, then we are going to be trying to win.“