Zimmerman led the RailHawks and was second in the NASL in scoring with 15 goals in regular-season play. He trailed San Antonio's Pablo Campos, who won the NASL Golden Boot Award after scoring 20 goals in 2012.
"Anytime you can score fifteen goals out of the midfield position you should be worth a lot of money and you should be playing at a high level because that is invaluable," said Colin Clarke, the RailHawks' head coach, in an MLSReserves.com feature story on Zimmerman. "Strikers are paid that amount of money to score goals. Nick has a great achievement. He’s here for practices, games with a smile on his face and it’s being rewarded."
The RailHawks beat Fort Lauderdale 3-1 in the opening round of the NASL playoffs on Sept. 28. The Fort Lauderdale goalkeeper in that game was former JMU goalie Matt Glaeser (2003-05). Glaeser had 108 saves in regular-season play and ranked second in saves in the NASL this year.
Zimmerman is in his second year with the RailHawks, and Glaeser is in his third season with the Strikers.
Carolina will host the first leg of a home-and-home series against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Oct. 6, and the second game of the NASL semifinals is scheduled for Oct. 13 at Tampa Bay.
The NASL semifinal and final rounds are a two-game series, with each team playing at home once and the team with the greater number of aggregate goals in both games winning each series.
Zimmerman (JMU '09) was a four-year midfield starter at JMU. He earned All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors as a senior in 2008 and was a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association selection (2007, 2008). He previously played for the New York Red Bulls (2009) and Philadelphia Union (2010) of Major League Soccer.
Glaeser was a reserve goalkeeper at JMU for three seasons (2003-05). He finished his collegiate career at Hartford, where he was the America East Conference and NSCAA Northeast Region Goalkeeper of the Year in 2007.