The veteran defender, who is retiring at year’s end, dropped several interesting tidbits in his conversation with Feilhaber, Zizzo and their recurring cohost Ike Opara, perhaps none more striking than his words about his Atlanta United teammate Miles Robinson.
In a discussion about who they believe will win this season’s MLS Defender of the Year award – an honor he himself earned in 2007 – Parkhurst dropped some glowing praise about Robinson, who effectively took his starting job at the start of the campaign.
“I think that Miles Robinson is the best one-on-one defender I've ever played with in my entire career,” said Parkhurst. “And I think that he’s had an absolutely tremendous season and I hope he wins Defender of the Year. Sorry, Ike. But you can't deny the defensive record of Minnesota's turnaround this year, and coupled with Kansas City's demise this year, it points strongly to one Ike Opara. I mean it has to play a role.”
As the back half of that statement would suggest, Parkhurst believes that Opara’s longer resume and measurable impact on Minnesota United’s improvement will earn him the DOTY nod.
“I honestly think Ike will win it,” said Parkhurst. “I also think that age will help Ike as well, and him having done it over the course of many years. And I think that Miles might get docked a little bit for playing next to a very good center back [Leandro Gonzalez Pirez] and having a very good goalie [Brad Guzan] behind him,” later adding that “we honestly would not win those trophies [U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup] if, probably, I was playing and he wasn’t.”