“It’s the biggest dream that I’ve had growing up,” said Johnson, who will compete with Matt Turner and Ethan Horvath at goalkeeper. Johnson, 33, has made 10 appearances for the U.S. “So I’m excited to take part now and hopefully inspire what is the next generation as well.”
Zimmerman, who is presumed to start at centerback, said he is overjoyed to represent metro Atlanta. The 29-year-old has made 33 appearances for the U.S.
“Hopefully we can inspire kids the same way that, you know, Clint Mathis from Georgia inspired us,” he said. “So it’s just a fun part of the job to be able to inspire people and represent, you know, your hometown.”
Moore’s path wasn’t as straight as that of Zimmerman and Johnson, who both graduated from Brookwood High School before attending college, Johnson at Central Florida and Zimmerman at Furman, before they were drafted by MLS teams.
Moore left Powder Springs to attend IMG Academy, where Atlanta United has spent two of its preseason camps, in Bradenton, Fla. Moore then began training with Dallas, which drafted Zimmerman in 2013, before heading to Spain, where he played for several clubs. He was transferred from Tenerife in the second division to Nashville during this most recent season. Moore, 26, has made 15 appearances for the U.S.
“It’s great to represent the South ... so just being the kind of idol to those kids that wish they could have a chance, knowing that two guys that came from where they’re coming from to actually play the World Cup is great,” he said.
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