The Columbus Crew are bolstering their back line with the help of defender Michael Parkhurst. Announced on Monday morning, the Crew have traded the fourth overall pick in this year’s MLS SuperDraft to the New England Revolution for the former MLS player.
Honestly, this is a pretty big move. The return of Parkhurst should garner considerable media coverage in early MLS offseasons, but the more recent league additions in Michael Bradley and Jermaine Defoe have soured the move for Columbus.
Parkhurst was drafted ninth overall in 2005, where he played every minute for the Revolution that year, and winning the MLS Rookie of the Year. Then in 2007, Parkhurst was awarded the MLS Best Defender of the Year.
His contract with the Revolution expired after 2008. Parkhurst signed a three-year deal with Norwegian club F.C. Nordsjælland, where he helped win the Danish Cup multiple times. Also during his career, Parkhurst has found himself playing for the U.S. national team, having featured in the 2007 and 2013 Gold Cup campaigns.
This is a brilliant move for the Crew, in my opinion. Although they do need help in the midfield, a talented defender like Parkhurst (who can play center back, defensive mid, and right back) will go a long way in helping them after being 12th in goals allowed (46) during the 2013 season. Instead of using a draft pick that may take a few years to mature into his prime, the Crew now have a 29-year-old veteran who can make an impact on day one, on the pitch and in the locker room.
Parkhurst will have many reasons to play his best, as he is trying to catch Jurgen Klinsmann’s eye for a starting spot with the World Cup squad. The right back position is not yet settled, so Parkhurst has a reasonable chance of joining the team.
The trade will bring the Revolution the fourth overall pick and allocation money. The SuperDraft will be held this Thursday on ESPNews at Noon Eastern. New England also holds the 12th and 19th pick of the draft (the 19th pick coming from Sporting Kansas City in a trade for Benny Feilhaber.)