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Parkhurst on the Move

The buzz around MLS circles is that Michael Parkhurst, the Revolution's standout defender who is out of contract this winter, has reached agreement with a Danish club. Barring last-minute complications, a formal announcement is expected soon. His departure is not a surprise: He expressed interest in playing in Europe and New England had begun preparing for the 2009 season without him. But once again, we are seeing a quality American player leave behind the domestic league for a secondary European circuit. With his contract set to expire, it is a free transfer.

Parkhurst, a Wake Forest product who turns 25 in January, was the 2005 MLS rookie of the year, made the Best XI in 2007, and was among the three overage selections for the U.S. Olympic squad last summer in China. He started 115 games in four seasons and, perhaps most remarkably, committed just 32 fouls in 10,297 minutes. (To put that in perspective, Chivas USA's Atiba Harris, a midfielder-forward with limited defensive responsibilities, was whistled for 73 fouls this past season.)

I'm hoping to gather more details later today.

Thoughts on the move and the impact on the Revs?

By Steve Goff  |  November 30, 2008; 12:09 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

I would be sorry if MLS lost Parkhurst. He proved that a skillful and tenacious central defender can be successful without being big and "physical." I would much rather shore up DC United's woeful central defense with a Parkhurst clone than with a tough guy foul-a-minute machine that some say we need.

Posted by: b18bolo | November 30, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Revs seem to lose more quality free agent players due to money than any other team, and then continually stunt other in-contract players looking to go abroad to make some extra $$

Posted by: beergorila | November 30, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The Revs will struggle mightily to replace Parkhurst. I've always been of the position that he is overrated by many (I'm pretty sure Greg Lalas worships him as a god), but that doesn't mean I think he's a bad player. He was the right player for their 3412 formation, and they have no suitable replacement. Badilla never looked to be MLS quality this season, and Larentowicz looked more comfortable in midfield than when he played center back in Superliga.

The Revs are still ideally built for a 5 man midfield (Joseph, Ralston, and Larentowicz have to start in any Revs XI), but whether that will be continued use of a 3412 or some kind of 451 will come down to how well they replace Parkhurst in the back. They don't have too many good options to trade off, either (one of Castro or Thompson, or maybe they could hoodwink someone into taking Tierney).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 30, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It seems the Revs are being steadily downgraded through attrition as an outflow of good players seems greater than the quality of players they are adding.

Posted by: dcufan53 | November 30, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Off topic: Altidore started for Villarreal and went 78 minutes in their 2-1 win at Recreativo. This puts Villarreal in 2nd, 4 points behind Barcelona.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 30, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I wonder when Matt Reis is out of contract?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 30, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

We should walk all over the league now.

Posted by: TheJim1 | November 30, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

1. It hurts NE badly. As others pointed out, Parkhurst fit their system superbly. He's a hard man to replace. Additionally, unless they luck out with someone from the Carribbean or draft (unlikely), the replacement will be a lot more expensive.

2. Senior Goff--I've look high and low but can find no master list of players waived recently for the entire league. A couple of teams (not DC United) reported cuts. Petke of course was claimed by TFKAM. Do you know if DCU cut anyone? Or if there's a league waiver list? Inquiring minds (okay, minds already bored with the MLS off-season) want to know!

Posted by: JoeW1 | November 30, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

You can call it a secondary league, but this will help Parkhurst. European scouts will see him and get to know him better. Then he will play in the World Cup. If he shows well there, he can move to a better league. If that doesn't work out, he can leverage a better deal out of MLS down the road -- or enjoy playing in Europe, even if it is a lesser league....

Posted by: fischy | November 30, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

It will certainly hur the Revs - might even bring 'em down to DCU' defenstive level. BTW, DCU already have a foul a minute hacker/goon...

Posted by: fischy | November 30, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if college soccer players are getting the message and signing up for Danish and/or Norwegian? This could be a boon to Scandanavian Language Departments across the country.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 30, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

But once again, we are seeing a quality American player leave behind the domestic league for a secondary European circuit... And perhaps most remarkably, committed just 32 fouls in 10,297 minutes.
By Steve Goff | November 30, 2008; 12:09 PM ET

Therein lies the rub. His no-foul, no-contact style of play is ill-suited to the major European leagues. He'll never play in the Premiership without that "get stuck in" mentality that is pervasive. Germany and Italy thrive on large, dominant center-backs that aren't afraid to take out a speedy foreward. And France and Spain are too technical for the likes of Parkhurst, IMHO. Just look at Gooch if you want to see how a supposed dominant American defender will fare in a major European league. While Steve Cherundolo continues to plug away in Germany, and Jay Demerit works the center in England. Both these guys are/were penalized by the USSF for being good players outside the accepted American system, yet they have better European careers than most the outfield players in US history have had. Turning your back on MLS keeps you out of the National Team. Else we would have been in the second round of the last World Cup with Demerit, an in-form defender playing instead of Pope and Gooch.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | November 30, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Denmark would be disappointing or Parkhurst. I think the guy could and should go to Italy, where his defensive skills could be refined and honed.

I think his style of reading the play, intercepting passes, marking players and interfering without fouling would work well in Italy.

Posted by: Eugene7 | November 30, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, I agree that this is a positive move for Parkhurst, but I am curious who do you think he will pass to "play in the World Cup". Boca? Gooch? Somebody else?

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | November 30, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Steve - You write: Parkhurst, a Wake Forest product....
Ugh, he's not a product, he's a grad, or footballer, or kid or anything other than "product" Please.
This terrible term, overused by a certain TV broadcaster (a Colgate product) should be banned from your otherwise delightful-to-read and usually quite literate blog. Please!
freddie b

Posted by: kaynfred53 | November 30, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

re:

Steve - You write: Parkhurst, a Wake Forest product....
Ugh, he's not a product, he's a grad, or footballer, or kid or anything other than "product" Please.
This terrible term, overused by a certain TV broadcaster (a Colgate product) should be banned from your otherwise delightful-to-read and usually quite literate blog. Please!
freddie b

Posted by: kaynfred53 | November 30, 2008 8:39 PM

Translation: Do as I say, not as I do.

Posted by: Ron16 | December 1, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Wonder whether WF Coach Vidovich will get or would want a shot at head coaching in MLS. He seems to develop more than his share of quality products, I mean footballers.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 1, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the Revs are changing fast! First Adam Cristman, then Khano Smith, now Michael Parkhurst -- along with the rumor that Taylor Twellman is still itching to return to Europe, it seems likely the Revs will not be as competitive next season.

This is a big bummer for me (Revs fan from Brookline, MA), but perhaps good news for DCU fans.

Posted by: Brokenbil | December 1, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Steve - You write: Parkhurst, a Wake Forest product....
Ugh, he's not a product, he's a grad, or footballer, or kid or anything other than "product" Please.
This terrible term, overused by a certain TV broadcaster (a Colgate product) should be banned from your otherwise delightful-to-read and usually quite literate blog. Please!
freddie b

Posted by: kaynfred53 | November 30, 2008 8:39 PM

Yes, product / produce tends to imply a "something" and not a "someone," but the metaphor is understood to mean "came from; was trained at; became more skilled as a result of time spent at."

There are a ton of metaphors (look at that hyperbole) in sports as it is - "she was on fire in the 2nd half," "he's got ice in his veins." It may not be literal, but it sounds literate to this English teacher's ears.

Posted by: eadc | December 1, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Agreed eadc, and for the record, Rob Stone was graduated from Colgate with a degree in English and a stellar Division 1 playing career.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 1, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Steve - You write: Parkhurst, a Wake Forest product....
Ugh, he's not a product, he's a grad, or footballer, or kid or anything other than "product" Please.
freddie b
Posted by: kaynfred53 | November 30, 2008 8:39 PM
=====================

Are we not said to be "products" of our environments? And, since you're being picky, "grad" is an abbreviation and "kid" is simply unacceptable.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This is a big bummer for me (Revs fan from Brookline, MA), but perhaps good news for DCU fans.

Posted by: Brokenbil | December 1, 2008 9:42 AM
===============

No. It's bad news because we kept Francis Doe, who smoked Parkhurst (twice) in the last home game.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 1, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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