The rumored Michael Parkhurst trade is official. The Crew sent the 4th pick in Thursday's draft and allocation money to the New England Revolution for the rights to Parkhurst. He was released from his contract by FC Augsburg earlier Monday and signed with the Crew
The Crew gave up a promising spot in the draft and allocation money for Parkhurst. ESPN's Jeffery Carlisle tweeted that the allocation sum was $100,000 and Parkhurst will make more than $300,000 next season.
There is significant risk to the deal. Parkhurst turns 30 later this year and the Crew gave up a high draft pick to acquire him. The draft is extremely deep at central defense are several defenders in the draft that could have filled into the back line.
While there are possible risks, the payoff is clear, Parkhurst is a national team caliber defender. He will immediately shore up a very young defense that is still developing. Parkhurst's resume is extensive. He was the 2005 MLS Rookie of the Year and the 2007 Defender of the Year.
Parkhurst one of the purest defenders technically the U.S. produced. He played 115 games for the New England Revolution in defense, but only acquired 3 yellow cards and 32 fouls. Despite being considered undersized for a central defender at 5'11", he's rarely moved off the ball. He's a solid header of the ball and his soccer intelligence if excellent. He rarely makes the wrong choice on defense or with the ball at his feet.
Parkhurst will also give the Crew someone to help organize the defense. He's been considered a leader and an excellent locker room asset. His experience will help shape a rebuilt back line and give his new defensive partner Josh Williams guidance as he grows into the starting role in the center.
The trade instantly upgrades a makeshift defense and gives the Crew strength in the back. The team now has one less hole to fill with training camp opening in less than two weeks. Columbus still has significant cap space and likely has allocation money remaining with the team still looking to add scoring punch.