The desire to bolster their roster elsewhere is what led the New England Revolution to trade the rights to US national team defender Michael Parkhurst on Monday to the Columbus Crew.
In a story by RevolutionSoccer.net’s Jeff Lemieux, New England general manager Michael Burns said Parkhurst’s addition to an already loaded defensive corps would have “significantly impacted” the club’s ability to make other acquisitions – namely in their attack.
“It was not a decision that was made lightly,” Burns said from the MLS Player Combine in Lauderhill, Fla. “There was a lot of discussion internally.”
In the story, Parkhurst’s desire to return to MLS – where he played with New England from 2005-08 – after five years in Europe was brought to the Revs’ attention a month ago. But New England will return the bulk of their backline, which boasted the third-best goals against average in the league last season and established a club record with 14 shutouts. That group includes 2013 MLS Defender of the Year José Gonçalves, secured on a permanent deal in November.
So the rights to Parkhurst, which New England owned due to the fact that his transfer to Danish club FC Nordsjælland was a free one, were traded so the Revs could focus on bolstering their offensive production.
“We’ve already said we’re trying to go out and add some attacking pieces and look in some other areas of the field,” Burns said. “With our ability to retain all of our defenders from last year, we feel it allowed us to make this move to hopefully strengthen the team in some other areas, as well.”
The fourth overall pick in Thursday’s SuperDraft, in addition to an undisclosed amount of allocation money, that came to New England in the trade will be used for exactly that, Burns said.
“We’ve been in discussions already; there’s been some interest in [the fourth overall pick], so there’s no guarantee we’re going to keep it,” Burns said. “But if we do, we certainly feel that there’s enough quality here at the Combine. Any year you can have a high draft pick, you feel like it’s certainly advantageous to you.”