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Official: Michael Parkhurst traded to Atlanta United

Crew SC will have a new captain in the new year.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Massive Report confirmed a rumored move that Michael Parkhurst would be traded by Columbus Crew SC to expansion side Atlanta United FC. That move was officially announced on Sunday during Major League Soccer’s three-hour open trade window.

In return for the center back, the Black & Gold will receive General Allocation Monday. The amount was not disclosed.

Before the official word was released, Parkhurst sent a thank you message out to Columbus and its fans for his time with the club.

Parkhurst was one of the first additions made under head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter when he arrived at the club ahead of the 2014 season. He was quickly named captain and became a mainstay for Crew SC in the center of defense, playing 100 games and registering three assists.

During his three seasons in Columbus, Parkhurst helped Crew SC qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in back-to-back years. In 2015, Parkhurst’s partnership with recently acquired center back Gaston Sauro propelled the Black & Gold to an MLS Cup Final appearance.

As the 2016 season spiraled out of control, resulting in no postseason, Parkhurst received much of the blame for a defense that conceded 58 goals, second-worst in the league.

While Parkhurst had his moments, it was clear that the 32 year old had lost a step that once made him a perfect fit for Berhalter’s possession-based, attacking system. Crew SC brought in versatile defender Nicolai Næss in July, which may have spelled the end was near for Parkhurst.

With this move, Homegrown midfielder Wil Trapp will likely take on the captain role, after serving as vice captain under Parkhurst. While Næss should slot into Parkhurst’s spot, the Columbus back line is left rather thin.

Massive Report will be on top of any future Crew SC moves following the Parkhurst trade.