Michael Parkhurst has spent much of his career aspiring to win an MLS Cup. He has not had much time to savor the title, though, as he returned to training with Atlanta United this week – a month and a half after Atlanta’s 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers in the final.
As a player, Parkhurst’s history with MLS Cup dates to the days when he keyed the New England Revolution’s back line in successive appearances from 2005-07. Parkhurst returned to the final with the Columbus Crew, for another defeat, in 2015.
But Parkhurst’s quest for the cup goes back to the league’s inaugural season, when he sat in the stands as a 12-year-old at the Revolution’s first home game at Foxboro Stadium on April 27, 1996. That was when Parkhurst set his goal of becoming a professional player.
Parkhurst left his Cranston, R.I., home to join the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., at 14 and did not return until 2005, when he stepped into the Revs starting lineup as a 21-year-old center back.