Take A Bow Parky!
If you missed it earlier this week, on a very awkward iPhone video, Atlanta United FC center-back Michael Parkhurst announced he will retire at the end of the 2019 season. Parky who is now 35 years old has had a long career that shouldn’t go overlooked. A new fan of soccer, MLS, and/or Atlanta United might look at Parky as a old head on the field and getting less minutes every week. But when you look at the grand picture of his career, it is one that needs to be recognized by MLS, U.S. soccer, and its fans.
Parkhurst came into MLS for the 2005 season with the New England Revolution where he would go on to win MLS Rookie of the Year and be named a MLS All Star. He would rack up a total of 36 games in his rookie year that lead into a career with the Revs that lasted until 2009. During his time with the Revs he was able to win the 2007 U.S. Open Cup, two MLS All Star team spots, was named to the 2007 MLS Best XI, and was the 2007 MLS Defender of the Year. 2007 is also where he was able to get his beginnings with the U.S. Men’s National Team. He won the 2007 Gold Cup with the USMNT as well.
At the end of his contract with the Revs, Parky signed with Nordsjaelland in the Danish Super League where he would go on and appear in over 120 games with the club. He thrived in Denmark and was able to be a key member of a club that went on to win the 2011/2012 Danish Superliga, 2009/2010 Danish Cup, and the 2010/2011 Danish Cup. His time with Nordsjaelland also allowed him to get minutes playing in the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Champions League. His time would come to and end in Denmark and he made the jump to the Bundesliga for FC Augsburg.
During his time in Germany, Parky would get another trophy with the USMNT and helped the squad win the 2013 Gold Cup. After a short stay in Germany, Parky comith home! Parkhurst would have his rights traded to the Columbus Crew and would start a three year career in Columbus. In three seasons for the Crew, Parkhurst would go on to play in 110 games for the club. With the Crew he would be named an All Star in 2014. He was a captain for the Crew and was also one of the top standout players for the Crew in recent history.
When Atlanta United FC came into MLS they decided to go out and grab the MLS vet. Parky was traded to Atlanta and was named captain of the brand new club with BIG expectations. Parky will finish his three year career with Atlanta United as a club legend. He is almost at the 100 game mark for the club, has been named an All Star twice, won the 2018 MLS Cup, the 2019 Campeones Cup, and the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. Parky has nothing left to prove.
Five clubs in his career, will finish with over 100 caps for four of those clubs, won in MLS, won in Europe, won with the USMNT, and a role model off the field as well. This man deserves a spot in the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame, and people need to respect the man that Parky is. Thank you Parky, all love moving forward!