Zimmermann gets pro contract at Hamburg SV

[AMERICANS IN GERMANY] U.S. U-20 and U-17 international forward Preston Zimmerman, 19, has signed a pro contract with German First Division club Hamburg SV after scoring nine goals in 32 games for the reserve team. Gregg Berhalter, 34, extended his contract with Second Division 1860 Munich through June 2009.

"He [Zimmermann] has demonstrated his qualities in the second team ... and earned the professional contract," Hamburg sporting director Dietmar Beiersdorfer said in a statement on the club's Web site Monday.

Zimmerman, a Washington state product who played youth ball for Crossfire Premier, started his Hamburg stint in January and is under contract through 2009.

Berhalter joined 1860 Munich in July 2006 after helping Energie Cottbus win promotion to the First Division. The central defender has played 45 games and scored seven for the Lions.

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