From 2005-2008, Michael Parkhurst was a gigantic part of the New England Revolution. He won the MLS Gatorade Rookie of the Year award in 2005, MLS' U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award in 2006 and was also an MLS Best XI honoree and the 2007 MLS Visa Defender of the Year. Parkhurst also won back-to-back MLS Fair Play awards in a Revs shirt and helped the club to three straight MLS Cup appearances.
Now the captain of the Crew, Parkhurst is slated to return to his former stomping grounds for the first time since rejoining MLS prior to this season.
"I'm excited to play in front of friends and family again," Parkhurst said. "It's been a long time. I had four really good years there – a lot of good memories, a lot of good people. I'm looking forward to seeing some of those people that are still there and to bring back some good memories."
Being from nearby Rhode Island, Parkhurst grew up as a fan of the club, even attending its first-ever home match in 1996.
"I grew up watching them and cheering for them. I've always been a fan of the Revs. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to play for them for four years, but that time's passed now. I'm enjoying things here in Columbus."
Parkhurst has fond memories of his first professional coaches, Steve Nicol and assistant Paul Mariner, crediting them for giving him his first opportunity as a professional. Still, as the Crew captain, Parkhurst stressed that the memories are just that, and he is solely focused on helping the Black & Gold earn three points on Saturday.
"It was a great environment for me. Steve is a really laid-back player's coach. He was awesome to work with and we had a great time. Training was serious, but off the field, we really enjoyed ourselves. The team clicked really well. I really enjoyed my four years there, but it's time to move on."