Atlanta United’s Michael Parkhurst announced Monday morning that he will retire at the end of the 2019 MLS season.
Parkhurst has played professionally for 15 years and the last three with the Five Stripes. During his tenure in Atlanta, he won MLS Cup for the first time in his career and the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup this season. He was also the first captain in franchise history.
The defender was acquired in 2016 from Columbus Crew for General Allocation Money.
While Parkhurst will be mostly remembered as the team’s first ever captain, for me and many fans, he will also be remembered as the player who help set up Josef Martinez game winning goal in MLS Cup against Portland last season.
“We want to congratulate Michael on an illustrious career and thank him for immense contributions to Atlanta United,” said Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. “His career accolades speak for themselves, but during his time in Atlanta, he was a consummate professional and played an integral role for us, both on-and-off the field. In addition to solidifying our back line for the 2018 MLS Cup Championship run, he was also an influential figure in building our club’s culture and we’re forever indebted to him for that. We wish him the best in his future endeavors and he’ll always be welcome back at Atlanta United.”
Prior to playing in Columbus, Parkhurst also played in Europe, where he played in six matches in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League. Before then, he began his soccer career with the New England Revolution, a team where he was named Rookie of the Year in 2005 and led the Revolution to three MLS Cup finals.
Parkhurst also represented the U.S. Men’s National Team 25 times, including a Gold Cup title in 2007 and 2013 and playing in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Thanks for everything Parkhurst and enjoy retirement!