Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst returns to defend MLS Cup title
The captain who hoisted the first trophy in Atlanta United club history will be back to help defend that title.
ATLUTD announced that center back Michael Parkhurst, who was a free agent after the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season, will be returning next year.
Parkhurst, who turns 35 in January, captained the Five Stripes to their first MLS Cup triumph on December 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was also the first MLS Cup for Parkhurst, who was on the losing side of four previous MLS Cup finalists in Columbus and New England.
It was a magical season for Parkhurst, who finished third in the Defender of the Year voting and was named to the MLS All-Star team, starting all but two league matches in 2018.
Since joining Atlanta via trade ahead of the 2017 expansion season, Parkhurst has started more games and logged more minutes than any other Atlanta player.
"Michael has played an important role for our team over the past two seasons and we’re pleased to have re-signed him,” VP and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club statement. “Since joining the club, he has served as an excellent captain and his experience and leadership is invaluable for our group.”