Sunday, December 11, 2016

Parkhurst moves on

It has been a while in the making, but Gregg Berhalter's voice on the pitch is officially moving on.

Not taking care of Michael Parkhurst this past summer doomed the already shaken 2016 Columbus Crew SC. Back in July, months after the Federico Higuain / Kei Kamara fiasco, Parkhurst did a very, very rare thing and spoke to the local media about his contract situation. He sounded unsettled, well, as much as he can sound that way.

For a league where the margin between good and bad is razor thin (re: MLS Cup last night) anything like not having your team captain locked up for the future is a punch in the gut.

The worst part about the situation is that Berhalter didn't tell Parkhurst either way. He just left him hanging (I'm speaking of back in July). It's impossible to say whether he would have played better had he known he was going to leave, but I'm confident that he would have played better.

The concern here for Crew SC going forward is the leadership role. There are not many Parkhurst-like players out there. Even fewer that fit so well with Berhalter's temperament (I wrote recently on this). Wil Trapp is the obvious person next in line, but they should think long and hard about that one.

As things stand right now, this is the single biggest problem the team has.

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