Skip to content

Michael Parkhurst making the move to Germany, signs with Augsberg

Dec 19, 2012, 11:45 AM EDT

Chelsea's Fernando Torres challenges FC Nordsjaelland's Michael Parkhurst during their Champions League Group E soccer match in London Getty Images

A few years ago, Ricardo Clark made the move from Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo to Eintracht Frankfurt. A few months later, he in the German second division.

Around the same time, Benny Feilhaber was going through a demotion with Denmark’s Aarhus. Thanks to the competitive vagaries of European soccer, not all quests for top-flight action stay on course.

Today, another U.S. international’s announced a move that could turn sour.

After a UEFA Champions League campaign that saw him get a crack at Chelsea, Juventus, and Shakhtar Donestsk, former New England Revolution defender Michael Parkhurst is making the move to Germany’s first division. The 28-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Augsburg of the Bundesliga.

“I’m looking forward to playing at FC Augsburg and in the Bundesliga,” said Parkhurst. “I’d like to do my bit so that we can achieve our aim of staying up in the second half of the season. I watched the game against Bayern Munich at the SGL arena and despite the defeat I was impressed with the fantastic atmosphere. That’s why I can hardly wait to get out there and play myself.”

Don’t underestimate the role of that “fantastic atmosphere.” It’s a quality that’s benefitting some teams at home, and the consistent presence of large, loud, television-friendly crowds was a major factor in the rise of England’s Premier League. It’s also one of the reasons many evaluate the Bundesliga as the world’s second-best league.

And no doubt about it: This is a great move for Parkhurst. The specter of the second division’s obviously worth noting, but this is his shot at playing in one of the best leagues in the world, even if that only lasts for six months. He not only has to jump at that chance, he should see it as a major career achievement.

“I worked my way into the Bundesliga.” Something nobody can ever take away.

More on Parkhurst’s fit at Augsburg:

“Michael Parkhurst is an experienced defender who played primarily at right-back for Nordsjaelland,” said sporting director Jürgen Rollmann. “It’s well known that we’ve had problems in that position. However, Parkhurst can also play on the left or in the centre of defence and we’re sure he’ll help our team.”

As of now, Augsburg sits 17th in the 18-team Bundesliga - relegation territory. They’re three points back of 16th-place Hoffenheim, but that spot’s not exactly safe. That only gets you into a relegation playoff against a 2. Bundesliga team. Augsburg are actually 10 points back of true safety.

So while this is a banner day for Parkhurst – a man who paid his dues in Denmark before getting this big break – in six months, it could turn sour. And for that matter, the professional lives of Hoffenheim’s Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams could take a turn for the worse come May.

Germany’s first division: Taking inventory of its U.S. internationals.

Latest Posts
  1. Danny Welbeck gets off the mark for Arsenal, links up with Ozil superbly

    Sep 20, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League

    Can Welbeck and Ozil click and become Arsenal’s main offensive weapons?

  2. At the half: West Ham builds 2-0 lead, Liverpool pulls one back

    Sep 20, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT

    West Ham United v Liverpool - Premier League Getty Images

    Raheem Stirling has narrowed Liverpool’s deficit to 2-1 at halftime in a Saturday afternoon thriller on NBC.

  3. Cisse salutes cancer-battling Jonas, Pardew defends job as Newcastle drew Hull

    Sep 20, 2014, 1:14 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    “It’s not lost on me that I get accused of being arrogant but I’m also a proud man to be manager of this football club and I’m going to fight to keep it,” Pardew said.

  4. VIDEO: Real Madrid smash eight past Deportivo; Cristiano Ronaldo bags hat trick

    Sep 20, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT

    RC Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Getty Images

    Watch Real’s masterclass, as the Spanish giants batter Deportivo in La Liga.

  5. Burnley 0-0 Sunderland: Third-straight scoreless draw for Clarets

    Sep 20, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

    Burnley v Sunderland - Premier League Getty Images

    Clarets and Black Cats still searching for first win of the season after stalemate.

  6. Swansea City 0-1 Southampton: 10-man Swans can’t hold off sub Wanyama

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    RC Celta de Vigo v Southampton - Pre Season Friendly Getty Images

    The loss drops Swansea to fifth place on nine points, while Saints jump into second place with 10 points.

  7. Newcastle United 2-2 Hull City: Cisse’s brace saves embattled Magpies

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Cisse AP

    Cisse revealed an undershirt message of “Always looking forward Jonas” for his teammate Gutierrez, who revealed cancer struggles earlier this week.

  8. Aston Villa 0-3 Arsenal: Red-hot Ozil, Welbeck fire Gunners to victory (video)

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

    Aston Villa v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Three goals in three first half minutes do the business for Arsene Wenger’s men.

  9. Watch live: West Ham United vs. Liverpool (Lineups)

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Liverpool will start Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli up top after their last-gasp Champions League win over Ludogorets midweek.

  10. VIDEO: Arsenal score three goals in three minutes, as Gunners explode

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:21 AM EDT

    Aston Villa v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Ozil and Welbeck rip Villa apart in stunning three-minute spell for the Gunners.

  11. Premier League half time update: Arsenal on fire, Swansea down to 10

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

    Swansea City v FC St Gallen - UEFA Europa League Getty Images

    Action at Villa Park, while a Swan sees red at the Liberty.

  12. Watch Live: Burnley vs. Sunderland (Lineups)

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

    sean_dyche Getty Images

    Both clubs go in search of their first win of the season. Watch live, right here.

  13. Watch Live: Aston Villa vs. Arsenal (Lineups)

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:48 AM EDT

    Can Arsenal kick on and cap a fine week with a win at Leicester? AP

    Can the Gunners grab their first win since the opening day of the season? Will Villa stay unbeaten? Watch live, right here.

  14. Watch live: Swansea City vs. Southampton (Lineups)

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:47 AM EDT

    FBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-SWANSEA Getty Images

    Bafetimbi Gomis has been relegated to the bench for the hosts, while Shane Long gets the start up-top with Graziano Pelle for the Saints.

  15. Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Stoke City: Kranjcar’s cracker saves QPR

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:39 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Kranjcar’s curler saves the day for Rangers, as Stoke are thwarted.

  16. Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Hull City (Lineups)

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:19 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Tigers midfielder David Meyler, recipient of a Pardew head butt last season, will start on the bench.

  17. Jose Mourinho wants Manchester City’s title taken away, points deducted

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:04 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Champions League AP

    Mourinho: “Are the fines fair? I don’t think so. What is fair is to remove points and titles.”

  18. Louis van Gaal: No player is a guaranteed starter at Manchester United

    Sep 20, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT

    VanGaal Getty Images

    LVG lays down the law ahead of United’s trip to Leicester on Sunday.

  19. Watch Live: Queens Park Rangers vs. Stoke City (Lineups)

    Sep 20, 2014, 7:27 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Can QPR bounce back from last weeks drubbing and beat the Potters? Watch live, right here.

  20. WATCH: Premier League online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 5

    Sep 20, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    Live Extra

    How and where to watch every single PL game live online or via the app.

Featured video

Breaking down Man City vs. Chelsea