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LAFC players Zimmerman, Ramirez star at the national level

The U.S. men’s national team took on Panama on Sunday, earning a decisive 3-0 victory in the friendly, and two of those goals were netted by players who typically play in the black and gold. Both defender Walker Zimmerman and forward Christian Ramirez scored for the American side in the game, an exciting first for both players and for their team back home in preseason training.

Zimmerman’s goal came first, in the iconic style that has become well-known to LAFC fans throughout the past season — launching himself over the opposing backline to smash home a shot with his head. He scored all of his goals last season in this fashion, and this time — in the 79th minute with the U.S. already leading by one goal — he provided a brace to his home country.

“It was so fun to be out there,” Zimmerman said. “It’s fun when you take something from the training field and you work on different sequences and then to see that played out on the field against live competition you get proud because we’ve only been together for a few weeks but we’re taking these ideas from the training field, putting them into the games and creating chances. That was really encouraging.”

Ramirez’ goal came ten minutes later, and only five minutes after he entered the game wearing the stars and stripes for the first time in his career. His goal came off a slippery cross from midfielder Jonathan Lewis, who was also celebrating his first debut with the national team. After positioning himself to slip behind the backline, Ramirez had easy access to slot home his first goal. It was a powerful moment for a player whose ability to perform at the top level has often been questioned.

On Saturday, the team will play its second January friendly in the Bay Area against Costa Rica.

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