Michael Parkhurst

Michael Finlay Parkhurst (born January 24, 1984) is a retired American soccer defender. The 2005 MLS Rookie of the Year and 2007 MLS Defender of the Year Award, he is capable of playing both center back and right back. Parkhurst has played for the United States men's national team, including being a member of three CONCACAF Gold Cup squads and participating in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Michael Parkhurst
Parkhurst in August 2017
Personal information
Full name Michael Finlay Parkhurst
Date of birth (1984-01-24) January 24, 1984
Place of birth Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Playing position Defender
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2004 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 41 (0)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003 Bradenton Academics 10 (2)
2005–2008 New England Revolution 115 (1)
2008–2012 Nordsjælland 107 (3)
2013–2014 FC Augsburg 2 (0)
2014–2016 Columbus Crew SC 100 (0)
2017–2019 Atlanta United 86 (0)
National team
2008 United States U23 5 (0)
2007–2014 United States 25 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 6, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of April 3, 2014

Youth and college

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Parkhurst attended the Bradenton Soccer Academy in Florida.[1] He played college soccer at Wake Forest University for the Demon Deacons from 2002 to 2004, where he started all sixty-two games the team played during his tenure, scoring one goal and registering two assists. Parkhurst was named a second-team All-American as a sophomore and junior and graduated from the university with a degree in history.[2] He then signed a Generation adidas contract with MLS following the 2004 season.

Professional career

New England Revolution

Parkhurst, who grew up in Rhode Island and played for CLCF Soccer and Bayside United, was in attendance at the inaugural home game for the New England Revolution, in 1996.[3] Nine years later, on January 14, 2005, he was selected ninth overall in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by his hometown Revolution. He was ever-present for the Revs in his first season and was named MLS Rookie of the Year.

He scored his first career MLS goal on October 20, 2007, in a 2–2 draw between the Revolution and Toronto FC. The goal was scored from sixty yards out, having caught Toronto's keeper Kenny Stamatopoulos off-guard.

Parkhurst won the MLS Defender of the Year Award in 2007, the MLS Fair Play Award in 2007 and 2008 and was also twice named the MLS Humanitarian of the Year in 2006 and 2008.

F.C. Nordsjælland

After his contract with the Revolution expired after the 2008 season, Parkhurst signed a three-year contract with Danish Superliga side Nordsjælland on December 9, 2008, as a free agent.[4][5] March 1, 2009, Parkhurst made his FCN league debut in a 1–1 away draw against Vejle.

2009–10 season, with the arrival of Andreas Bjelland and injury to Henrik Kildentoft, Parkhurst was inserted into a variety of new positions, including full back and center midfielder, becoming adept at playing at right back.[6] Parkhurst would help the Wild Tigers to win the Danish Cup, the club's first silverware in their history, and his first trophy in Denmark.

The following season, Parkhurst was hampered by numerous injury set backs throughout the campaign, eventually losing his place to Jores Okore.[7][8] He would make his return in time for Nordsjælland's Danish Cup final, winning the cup with a 3–2 victory over F.C. Midtjylland, lifting the trophy for the second consecutive year.

With less than a year remaining on his contract, there was speculation on Michael Parkhurst's future at FCN at the start of the 2011–12 season, with the emergence of Bjelland and Okore's partnership in central defense, Parkhurst was forced to play out of position, often at right back.[9][10] Helping the club to their best ever start to a season, ending the winter break in December 2011 at a club record second in the league, Parkhurst put rumors to rest when he signed a one-year contract extension with F.C. Nordsjælland, despite financially better offers from other clubs.[11][12] Michael Parkhust later this season helped F.C. Nordsjælland win the Danish Superliga for the first time in club history, securing the team automatic qualification for 2012–13 season's Champions League group stage.

Parkhurst featured in every minute of Nordsjælland's 2012-2013 UEFA Champions League campaign against Shakhtar Donetsk, Chelsea, and Juventus.[13][14][15] [16][17][18]


On December 19, 2012, it was announced that Parkhurst joined FC Augsburg on a free transfer. The struggling Bundesliga side finished 15th for the 2012–13 season.[19] He played his first competitive match in Germany on February 10, 2013 – a 1–1 draw at home against 1. FSV Mainz 05.

Columbus Crew SC

The MLS rights to Parkhurst were traded by New England to Columbus Crew SC on January 12, 2014 in exchange for the Crew’s first-round selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money. Parkhurst made 33 appearances in his first season with Columbus and was named captain of the club. In summer 2014, Parkhurst became the first Columbus player in four years named to the MLS All-Star Team.[20]

Atlanta United FC

On December 11, 2016 Parkhurst was traded to Atlanta United FC in exchange for General Allocation Money.[21] He is currently the club's captain.

Parkhurst captained Atlanta to their first MLS Cup victory in 2018, which broke his personal cup drought after four previous finals.[22]

On September 23, 2019 Parkhurst announced his intention to retire as a professional player at the end of the 2019 season. [23]

International career

Parkhurst is an Irish-American and thus holds an Irish passport. He had declared that he would be willing to play for the Irish national team if his American ambitions never came to fruition.[3] Parkhurst was called up by the United States national team for the 2007 Gold Cup, and the 2013 Gold Cup. He earned his first cap against Trinidad and Tobago on June 9, 2007, thus eliminating any further possibility of playing for the Republic of Ireland. He's been included in many friendlies for the U.S. under Jürgen Klinsmann. He was included on Klinsmann's 30-man preliminary roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Career statistics


As of December 8, 2018[24][25][26]
Club Season League Playoffs[lower-alpha 1] Cup[lower-alpha 2] Continental Total
Bradenton Academics 2003 PDL 10210112
New England Revolution 2005 MLS 3204000360
2006 300402000360
2007 2514030321
2008 28020004[lower-alpha 3]0340
Total 115114050401381
Nordsjælland 2008–09 Superliga 1600000160
2009–10 Superliga 23030260
2010–11 Superliga 220202[lower-alpha 4]0260
2011–12 Superliga 301202[lower-alpha 4]0341
2012–13 Superliga 162006[lower-alpha 5]0222
Total 107300701001243
FC Augsburg 2012–13 Bundesliga 200020
2013–14 Bundesliga 000000
Total 2000000020
Columbus Crew SC 2014 MLS 3302020370
2015 3305000380
2016 34020360
Total 10007040001110
Atlanta United 2017 MLS 3301000340
2018 3305000380
2019 18 0 - - 2 0 4 0 24 0
Total 660600000720
Career total 40062701701404586
  1. All appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs
  2. Includes the U.S. Open Cup and Danish Cup
  3. Three appearances in the North American SuperLiga, one appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League
  4. Appearances in the UEFA Europa League
  5. Appearances in the UEFA Champions League


As of December 13, 2014
National teamYearAppsGoals
United States



New England Revolution

F.C. Nordsjælland

Columbus Crew

Atlanta United


United States



  1. "Michael Parkhurst". wakeforestsports.cstv.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  2. Rogers, Martin (January 7, 2008). "Parkhurst shows commitment to Team USA". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  3. Dell'Apa, Frank (April 8, 2005). "The Future is Now". The Boston Globe. Providence, Rhode Island.
  4. McCarthy, Kyle (December 9, 2008). "Michael Parkhurst will move on to Denmark". The Boston Herald. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  5. "FCN henter amerikansk landsholdsspiller" (in Danish). FC Nordsjælland. December 9, 2008. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  6. Horn, Jakob (January 21, 2010). "Kildentoft har savnet en konkurrent" (in Danish). Bold.dk. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  7. Houlind, Søren (August 31, 2010). "FCN-stopper tilbage om tre uger" (in Danish). Bold.dk. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  8. Jørgensen, Jakob Stig (April 4, 2011). "Parkhurst ude i fire uger" (in Danish). Bold.dk. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  9. Anker-Møller, Kristian (May 31, 2011). "Parkhurst tager efteråret i FCN" (in Danish). Bold.dk. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  10. Helmin, Jesper (October 24, 2011). "Hjulmand: Parkhurst har været outstanding" (in Danish). Bold.dk. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  11. Blond, Mikael (November 15, 2011). "Parkhurst har fravalgt bedre tilbud" (in Danish). Bold.dk. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  12. Houlind, Søren (November 20, 2011). "Parkhurst har det godt i toppen" (in Danish). Bold.dk. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  13. "Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 FC Nordsjaelland". www.espn.co.uk. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  14. "FC Nordsjaelland 1-1 Juventus". www.espn.co.uk. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  15. "FC Nordsjælland 2-5 Shakhtar Donetsk". www.eurosport.com. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  16. "Chelsea 6-1 FC Nordsjælland". www.eurosport.com. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  17. "JUVENTUS VS. NORDSJÆLLAND 4 - 0". gh.socceryway.com. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  18. "FC Nordsjaelland v Chelsea – as it happened". www.theguardian.com. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  19. Galarcep, Ives (December 19, 2012). "Michael Parkhurst signs with Bundesliga side FC Augsburg". soccerbyives.net. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  20. "Crew captain Michael Parkhurst named to 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game roster". July 19, 2014.
  21. "Atlanta United acquire veteran defender Michael Parkhurst from Columbus". December 11, 2016.
  22. Vivlamore, Chris (December 8, 2018). "Atlanta United's Parkhurst finally gets his MLS Cup". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  23. "Breaking: Atlanta United's Michael Parkhurst to retire at end of season". ajc.com. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  24. "Michael Parkhurst » Club matches". World Football. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  25. Michael Parkhurst at Soccerway
  26. Michael Parkhurst at Major League Soccer
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Federico Higuaín
Columbus Crew SC captain
Succeeded by
Wil Trapp
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