Being patient is never easy.
It is easier, however, when you’re playing on a club with a close-knit locker room.
Since Nick Zimmerman joined the Union in last year’s expansion draft he was hoping for a chance to start, just like every other player. After all, he got seven starts for New York last season.
Zimmerman was rewarded by the Union technical staff with his first start in 2010 in what wound up being a 1-1 tie against the Houston Dynamo.
Prior to getting the nod, he was the only member of the Union on the roster since opening day without a single start.
“I got to the stadium and was told I was starting,” Zimmerman told philadelphiaunion.com after the match. “It was a good feeling, obviously. I kind of saw this day coming. I’ve been working hard and talking to the technical staff. It sure was great to see my name in the starting lineup.”
Through this inaugural Union season, Zimmerman has never dwelled on not starting and usually not seeing the field at all. Not on this club.
Not with the type of talent this club possesses.
“We have a great locker room, and there’s never any jealousy or anything like that,” Zimmerman said. “We all want each other to do well. The starting 11 for every game – we’re pulling for them. We have great players for the fact that this is a team where we are all on each other’s side. Everyone has been great the entire year in terms of staying together."
Still, it had to be extremely satisfying to start.
“Oh sure, absolutely,” Zimmerman continued. “You practice hard and train hard and want to be in the lineup. I felt really good out there and did some good things for us. I was hoping we’d come away with three points.”
Instead, Philadelphia came away with one in comeback fashion and Zimmerman came away with a sore lower back after a collision with Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad.
In the 59th minute, Danny Mwanga came on for Zimmerman.
“I’m OK, a little sore,” Zimmerman said. “You know what, Onstad is a big guy. We collided with each other. I’ll be fine. It’s just sore right now.”
With three games remaining, Zimmerman isn’t sure if he will start again. All he can do is prepare like he has since Day One.
That will never change.
“I always want to play, whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, whatever the staff feels they need from me,” Zimmerman said. “I’m going to work like I have and prepare for the next game against the Galaxy. Nothing will be different for me in terms of my preparation."