Michael Parkhurst signs with Bundesliga side FC Augsburg

By IVES GALARCEP

U.S. Men’s National Team defender Michael Parkhurst turned heads in Europe with his strong performances in the UEFA Champions League, and the result is the move to a top league that he had been looking for.

Parkhurst has signed with German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg on a free transfer, his agent Lyle Yorks confirmed on Wednesday morning.

Parkhurst, 28, spent four seasons with Danish side Nordsjaelland, developing into an outstanding right back after making the transition from centerback. The former New England Revolution standout enjoyed some stellar performances in the UEFA Champions League in the fall, which helped him garner interest from various top leagues in Europe, including Italy and Spain.

He joins an Augsburg side currently battling relegation in the Bundesliga. The club sits 17th in the standings, three points out of a relegation playoff spot.

In a recent interview with SBI, Parkhurst made it clear he wanted to join a major European league and take on the challenge of playing at the highest level, a desire increased by his good showing against top competition in the UEFA Champions League.

Parkhurst’s move to the Bundesliga now means there are four U.S. national team fullbacks plying their trade in Germany’s top league. He joins Steve Cherundolo, Fabian Johnson and Timmy Chandler, as well as USMNT midfielders Jermaine Jones and Danny Williams.

What do you think of this development? See Parkhurst doing well in the Bundesliga? Think Augsburg can avoid relegation?

Share your thoughts below.

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57 Responses to Michael Parkhurst signs with Bundesliga side FC Augsburg

  1. slowleftarm says:

    Good move!

    • Josh D says:

      Agreed. Good for him. A nice pay raise and he’ll be now competing in the same league as our other top sidebacks: Dolo, Johnson, and Chandler. Now Klinsi can really look at those four on an even level.

  2. DC Josh says:

    Fantastic move. Spaetzle and stollen over the winter break. Cheah…

  3. NE Matt says:

    Meh, was hoping for something better

    • Ralph says:

      How much better could he have done?

      • NE Matt says:

        How about Stoke City? Cameron could shift centrally and Shawcross could be sold in January as his stock has risen since the England call-up

        • Ross says:

          How about: He had to look at the options offered. He might have had offers from better teams and he might not have. He might have had offers from teams who were looking at adding depth and not a starting right back. He easily could have taken the offer which gave him the best chance to play every match.

        • TomG says:

          He’s about 6 inches too short to play for Stoke. I think you have to be at least 6’1 185 to even suit up.

        • Darwin says:

          Stoke City? God I hate that team. If only Edu and Cameron would move on from that joke of a team. If Augsburg avoid the drop, he will be in the most competitive league in the world.

          • Footballer says:

            @Darwin, the most competitive league in the world is not the German Bundesliga – It’s the English Premier League. So with all that talk, he went to a team destined for the drop.

            • g? says:

              No it isn’t, the epl just has a couple rich owners and good marketing

            • Darwin says:

              @Footballer, free market principles don’t apply here…pay is not the best metric for competition.

              Looking at the past 10 seasons, the EPL had 22 teams in the top 10 table positions and the Bundesliga had 19 (statistically equal).

              The Bundesliga had marginally more teams in the top 3 table positions than the EPL (8 teams vs 5 teams) .

              However, in the past 10 seasons, the Bundesliga was significantly more competitive among top teams, with 13 teams vying for the top 5 table positions, vs only 8 EPL teams.

    • Addick says:

      He’s an almost 29 year old late bloomer moving from the ~15th best league in Europe. I’m not sure what more you were expecting.

    • Bobb says:

      German first division football: NOT GOOD ENOUGH

  4. patrick says:

    good move for him, i hope it’s a short term contract though, Augsburg is almost definitely getting relegated.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t know how it’s a good move if he needs a short term contract because the team would be relegated if the season ended today. I guess if you’re Rico Clark making this sort of risky, tail end of B.1 move it’s “bad” but Mike Parkhurst does it it’s “good.”

  5. PD says:

    From a playing perspective it’s tough to beat the intensity of battling relegation. Plus, there is no denying that the Bundesliga is one of the top three leagues in the world. From a career climbing perspective I don’t see how leaving a club that offers opportunities to play against the likes of Chelsea in the CL for club that has little chance of offering the same is a step up.

    • patrick says:

      weigh a couple of games against teams like chelsea vs. a whole season against bundesliga games, and I think you’ll find your answer. Sure, CL is nice and it’s great for teams to test themselves, but nothing is a better test than tough, highly competitive games week in and week out.

    • Greg says:

      PD: It’s the consistent playing time against Bayern, Dortmund, Schalke, Etc. Playing against CHelsea once a year will not help, but playing against 5 or 6 high quality teams, and the Bundesliga, which is much better overall than where he was, is why this is a great move.

    • beto says:

      another American in a relegation battle, we seem to have a knack for finding these roles!

      I am happy for him; as bundesliga experience, and paychecks, will certainly help. It will be great to see him in the same league as Churundolo and Chandler.

      • kb says:

        Most of the time it’s because the managers have yankee googles on: they see the cheap price and hefty potential.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      In 4-5 months if they don’t correct course he’s (a) no longer battling relegation, he’s relegated and (b) he is no longer in one of the leading leagues in the world. And all that assumes he actually plays.

      I agree more with the career perspective, he was playing a lot for a leading Danish side which also plays UEFACL. While the team stunk in UEFACL, I’d be a little bit nervous abandoning a situation which was boosting his US chances, for a B.1 diceroll in terms of PT and relegation.

  6. Doug says:

    According to the team’s website — the contract goes through June 2015 regardless of “league affiliation.”

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  8. Strider257 says:

    While Parky will no longer be part of the big fish in a small pond, he will now be in a bigger pond where he can hone his craft and show his skills. Any team in the Bundesliga is better than playing Denmark. No, he won’t get any more UCL matches, but he will get good competition every day in practice and every week in matches. Definitely a step up. Congrats!

  9. steveo says:

    a nice move for Parkhurst, which will be a better move if they manage to stay up-which would give him solid competition until WC 2014…

    with Dolo, Chandler, Parkhurst, Johnson, Castillo and Lichaj the RB/LB USMNT depth is a s good as it’s ever been….meanwhile CB-as bad as ever? not a single USMNT player starts at CB in a top league-all either second division or Denmark…

    • Sam says:

      Cameron starts for Stoke in the Premier League. Granted it’s at RB, but hey he’s still starting against some of the best in the world week in and week out.

  10. Jake says:

    Anyone know if they’ll play him at outside back or CB? I know he’s played both in the past, but might be a little undersized for CB in the Bundesliga.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Right back. His centerback days are over. Well, at least until he comes back to MLS.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I also think he lacks the mobility to be a CB. He’s a smart positional player but IMO has a “Boswell problem” in terms of speed. In fact, that would be a more general B.1 concern for me, whether he’s fast enough.

      • Dave says:

        That’s why Nicol’s 3-5-2 was perfect for him. If you could remove sheer physicality from the equation and just grade Parkhurst on game reading in the 3-5-2 he was world class.

      • TomG says:

        Makes no sense. FB is more of a speed position than CB.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          I should probably have added, “and if he’s on the slow side for a CB, how’s he going to hold down a flank….” Fair point, I agree.

  11. Felix says:

    I’m not crazy about him playing in a side so close to relegation because his margin for error is going to be so small. And if they do get relegated, there’s a strong chance the coach will get fired, which won’t do much for him (we’ve all seen how a carousel of coaches can effect playing time of our Yanks).
    That being said, he’s signing very early so he’ll have the entire winter break to acclimate to his new club.

  12. Good Jeremy says:

    luckily they didn’t see the Chelsea CL game!

    I hope this isn’t a long-term contract. I understand the weekly competition is much better, but if they are relegated this year than he is better than Bun. 2.

    Selfishly, I hope they move him to CB for nats team purposes.

  13. biff says:

    This is a great move and I am happy to see it. Augsburg battled hard and played with all their hearts yesterday against FC Bayern in the DFB Pokal, was down only 1-0 late in the second half and Bayern was scared that Augsburg was going to score the equalizer. Hope that Augsburg can win in the second half of the season and stay in the 1. Bundesliga. But even if they slide back down to the second league, I still think this is a good move and think more American players should consider moving to lower level 1. Bundesliga teams or top 2. Bundesliga teams.

    Just want to remark on Parkhurst’s comments last week on Adriano, about how he should have left the field on a stretcher. I might be in the minority here, but I do think less of Parkhurst for wishing violence like that on another player. I would better understand such comments if Adriano was a leg breaker like some other players we know about–such as NDJ. I also would like to ask Parkhurst how he felt about his (former) teammate Morten Nordstrand faking as if he had been elbowed in the face before Adriano did his goal, which yhou can see in the link below. Adriano should not have done what he did, this is true. But when you have players faking injury trying to get an opponent a red card, that also is not cool.

    link to youtube.com

    • Ross says:

      Unfortunately the faking happens all the time. But to compare that to what Adriano did is ridiculous.
      Faking happens every week in every league. When was the last time someone did what Adriano did?
      I hate the diving and faking too.

    • DS says:

      I’m not really put off by the hyperbole of saying he wishes the guy left on a stretcher, but he certainly looked somewhat clownish after failing to do anything about it himself on the field, then talking big to the press after the fact. Granted, I’m sure there were other guys on his team who were better physically suited to playing the role of enforcer, but if you’re the little guy maybe better to shut up than make some bold statements about payback after you completely neglected to do anything whatsoever when given the opportunity.

  14. beachbum says:

    heck of a challenge for him. special quality about late bloomers, that stick-to-it quality…great quality. Was never a big fan of his on the USMNT but of course am now, won over I am.

    his path gives hope and maybe even some belief to all the other fringe guys in the US, and to US players in general. Keep working hard and dedicating

  15. JJ says:

    Fantastic news! Now he has all january to get aclimated with the team, so i would not want him called up for the January camp.

  16. TomG says:

    This is his chance to see what he can do at a high level. Good for him. I hope it works out.

  17. Sly says:

    Id be more excited if it was Besler. But he’ll prob maker the jump at 28 too. Dont like it so close to relegation.

  18. Air Jordanz says:

    Well, I’m sure he was aware of the grim prospects of relegation when he signed on. Augsburg has a 10 hole minimum to climb out of… 9 points from 17 matches is pretty atrocious.

    That said, I’m sure he made the right move for himself and even if he’s playing in the 2. Bundesliga he’ll be playing against similar competition to the Danish league.

  19. bryan says:

    im glad this happened for him. hopefully they can stay up!

  20. Footballer says:

    With all the noise and hype from US media, you would have thought this guy was going to some mid table club not a bottom of the cellar team. All the noise about his Champions League (experience like he did anything out of this world), he ends up at Augsburg.

  21. MikeG says:

    I believe Augsburg see Parkhurst as a core player for now and the near future. #10 Daniel Baier is a very good player. Augsburg need help in Defense and the LW / RW. The January transfer window can be a good opportunity for Augsburg.

  22. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Good move for him, and wish him well, but i don’t think it will have any impact on the nats pecking order at fullback.

    • MikeG says:

      Probably no impact on the USMNT pecking order now, but injuries can happen during qualifying along the way. Charlie Davies was one guy who got injured and missed out on the WC. Depth needs development too. As of now Parkhurst is more ready than Omar Gonzalez. Obviously I am pro Bundesliga myself.

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