With the majority of the focus on Atlanta United’s young impact signings like Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba, and most recently Josef Martinez, the additions of veterans like Michael Parkhurst have added a much-need balance to the Expansion side’s roster.
The 33-year-old former USMNT defender joined Atlanta via a trade with the Columbus Crew after they decided not to pick up his contract for 2017. Parkhurst wrote a very interesting guest post for ESPNFC in which he describes all the aspects that go into changing clubs. It’s well worth your time to read the whole thing.
One funny moment that he describes is meeting some of his new teammates in a hotel prior to preseason kicking off. He tells the story of how with all the new faces being added to the roster daily, they couldn’t decipher between who was a teammate and who was just a random person:
Fortunately, the players were also able to come to Atlanta a week before preseason started to get in the settling-in process. With most of us staying in the same hotel, it was pretty often that you ran into someone new on the team. We were meeting each other in elevators, lobbies and restaurants.
In fact, with everyone being new to each other, as well as signings and draftees being added daily, it was tough to know who was a teammate and who was a regular hotel guest. Any younger, athletic male was deemed a possible colleague, which led to a couple of awkward interactions!
But that's life when you are traded and especially to an expansion club. I never envisioned myself in this situation but am excited about the future as I embark on new beginnings with a brand new team.