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Paid Their Dues: Nick Zimmerman retires

He's taken an assistant coaching job with Columbus State University.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

After a seven-year career that included stints with the New York Red Bulls and Carolina RailHawks, Union expansion draftee Nick Zimmerman retired on Wednesday.

28-year-old Zimmerman, who was most recently a Wilmington Hammerheads player, will take up an assistant coaching position for Columbus State University's women's soccer team.

In 2009, the winger signed his first professional contract with the New York Red Bulls after the club selected him in the third round of that year's SuperDraft. He failed to score in 11 appearances with the club, and was left unprotected when the Expansion Draft rolled around.

The tenth and final selection of the draft, Zimmerman was set to receive a bonafide chance with the Union, but his role actually decreased in his second year. He only appeared eight times for the Union, with his first and only start coming in October. Zimmerman was waived just days prior to the 2011 season, without a goal or an assist in his Major League Soccer career.

Zimmerman landed on his feet, signing with the NASL's Carolina RailHawks just a month later. In his second year with the club, he finished runner-up in the Golden Boot race, tallying 15 goals in the 2012 term.

Injuries disrupted Zimmerman's last two seasons with the RailHawks, as he failed to score a goal in 2013 and 2014. He joined nearby Wilmington prior to this season. In 14 games with the club, Zimmerman scored three goals.