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11/24/2014
 

2014: Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas

 
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01/14/2014
 

There is an old -and wise- saying in soccer: “When you build a team you have to start from the back”. And that’s exactly what Gregg Berhalter, the Crew head Coach and sporting director, is doing with bold moves. 


Berhalter first sent his starter (and injury prone) goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum to the MLS Champion Sporting Kansas City. Then he traded legendary (and concussion prone) defender Chad Marshall to the Seattle Sounders raising a lot of questions in the black and gold nation. 


He responded solidly by signing Michael Parkhurst.


Berhalter knew he was not going to get the quality he needed in his back line with a rookie fresh out of college. Instead he brought the MLS rookie of the year … that year being 2005 when he was drafted for the New England Revolution. 


But what exactly is The Crew getting with Parkhurst? Let's take a look.


UEFA Champions League Experience

How many players in the MLS have this in their resume? Don’t think too manyhere's the answer: Robbie Keane, Thierry Henry, Marco Di Vaio, Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey. That was it. Well at least until Toronto's bombshell on Monday.


Parkhurst will be only the 6th player in the league who carries that invaluable asset that translates into the field in three vital aspects on defense:  Positioning, anticipation and mental speed.


Versatility

The Rhode Island native has played most of his career as a right back but he did play center back in his first years with New England. That gives Berhalter options to make adjustments if needed, plus he can swap with another multi-position defensive player like Josh Williams.


USMNT

Parkhurst has 23 caps with the US National team since 2007. Even when he only played two matches with his former club Augsburg. Jürgen Klinsmann had him on the list of possible options to fill the right back position in the World Cup squad. 


The defender is back in the MLS and he will see lots of action on the field that hopefully give him the chance to go to Brazil. That extra motivation makes players elevate their game.


Championships

He won the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup with the Revs in 2007 and the Super Liga in 2008. In Denmark he won the Danish Cup back to back (09-10 and 10-11 seasons) with the FC Nordsjaellan. This is a player who knows what is like to be a champion, what it takes to be one and how to lead to be one.


With this addition to the roster Berhalter has “almost” completed the team’s back support. Now it’s time to move forward and get a ...  forward.

 
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