Expected and Unexpected Changes in Atlanta United


Ashfiq Islam, Staff Writer

On Saturday, September 21st, against the San Jose Earthquakes, Josef Martinez let his amazing goalscoring streak come to an end. He may have lost something valuable there, but the team themselves lost something even more valuable going into the end of the season, Josef Martinez himself. The star striker was injured during a collision with an opposing player. It is believed that Josef Martinez tried to carry on after the initial injury but made the effects even worse by doing so, but no report has been confirmed on whether or not this is true. Early reports said Martinez was to miss the entire rest of the season and some of the MLS Cup, but fortunately Frank De Boer has said that Martinez will only miss the game against NYCFC.

In other news, Atlanta United’s first captain, Michael Parkhurst has confirmed that he will retire at the end of the season. Parkhurst has played in the MLS for most of his career but played in Europe for a brief stint. He joined Atlanta United from the Columbus Crew in 2017 and led the team as he was a veteran player. In the height of his career, Parkhurst played for the USMNT and was even at one point a huge coverboy of the MLS. He got to five MLS Cup Finals but only won once, with Atlanta United. He stated that it was the greatest feeling to win the cup and even greater to win it with Atlanta. Parkhurst has been Atlanta’s captain for all three of its seasons and has led them to the MLS Playoffs every year. Was he a good captain? Yes, not just a good one though, a great one. An outstanding one at that. Parkhurst will forever be Atlanta’s first captain and will always hold a place in the fan’s hearts. He lead the team to four trophies and so much more. If he’s not a great captain for a newer team, I don’t know who is. He played such a pivotal role in the team. The most likely candidates to replace Parkhurst’s captaincy are either Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Pity Martinez or Josef Martinez. I’m sure wherever Parkhurst will be watching from next season, he will be cheering on Atlanta.