Atlanta United’s retiring Parkhurst took under-appreciated road

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

We tend to throw the term “underrated” around a bit too casually, but it absolutely applies to Michael Parkhurst.

The Atlanta United fullback and 25-cap USMNT veteran is hanging up his boots after this Major League Soccer season, the latest in a career which runs a decade-and-a-half long.

The 35-year-old won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with both New England and Atlanta, won two Danish Cups and a Superliga with Nordsjaelland, and finally claimed the MLS Cup last year.

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At Nordsjaelland, he played in six UEFA Champions League games and four in the Europa League, matching up with the likes of Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Juventus in the former and Sporting Lisbon over two seasons of the latter (even manning some center mid).

Parkhurst success in Denmark earned him a move to Germany’s Bundesliga with Augsburg, though he was littled used before returning to MLS.

As a member of the USMNT, he won two Gold Cups and is one of the best Americans to not have been named to a World Cup roster.

There will be a day where an American player with his resume will be less remarkable, in large part to the chances taken by players like Parkhurst.