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Another U.S. international back to MLS: Columbus acquires Michael Parkhurst

Michael Parkhurst The Columbus Crew acquired U.S. defender Michael Parkhurst Monday. (Cal Sport Images/AP)

Another U.S. international has made his way back to MLS.

Defender Michael Parkhurst had his MLS rights traded from the New England Revolution to the Columbus Crew and signed with the club Monday after being let go from his contract with Bundesliga side FC Augsburg.

Parkhurst was in search of playing time after being an afterthought for Augsburg ever since joining the club from Danish side FC Nordsjaelland. He maintained a place in Jurgen Klinsmann's roster rotation, helping the U.S. claim the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer, and he'll help man a back line that lost Chad Marshall in a trade with Seattle this offseason. 

Parkhurst, a former MLS Rookie of the Year and Defender of the Year, departed the league on a free transfer in 2008, so his rights were maintained by the Revolution and he was not subjected to the league's allocation order for returning U.S. internationals.

The Revolution acquired a sizable haul -- the Crew's first-round pick in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft (No. 4 overall) and allocation money -- for Parkhurst's rights, while the Crew and Parkhurst both have their needs (for Columbus, an experienced defender; for Parkhurst, playing time in a World Cup year) met.

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“We are excited to be adding a top quality player like Michael to our club,” Crew sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a team statement. “He is an elite player that will have an immediate impact both on and off the field. Michael’s success in Major League Soccer, combined with his proven experience in Europe and with the U.S. men’s national team make him a valuable piece for our team.”

Parkhurst joins the growing list of active U.S. international players in MLS, following the footsteps of Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Clarence Goodson as players returning to the league within the last seven months.

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