When it comes to the defense, New York City FC isn’t likely to look all that different in 2019 than they did in 2018. Ben Sweat, Anton Tinnerholm, Alexander Callens, Ronald Matarrita, and Maxime Chanot are all confirmed to be on NYCFC’s book next season with depth pieces Sebastien Ibeagha and Cedric Hountondji all confirmed to be returning as well. Despite retaining practically all of their defensive weapons, the Blues’ shopping is apparently not done yet.
According to a recent report by Taylor Twellman, Atlanta United center back Michael Parkhurst — unwilling to take a pay cut — has entered the free agency market and is fielding offers from suitors. Twellman has claimed the teams most interested are Toronto FC, the Chicago Fire, and NYCFC.
Interesting times in @ATLUTD as it sounds like @MFparkhurst has options as a free agent since #ATLUTD have asked him to take a paycut. @torontofc, @NYCFC & @ChicagoFire all in the mix for the CB. #MLS— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) December 18, 2018
On paper, Parkhurst is a very serviceable player. With tons of experience within MLS and with the USMNT — and even some European experience to boot — the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon has plenty to offer, in theory, to budding MLS clubs.
There’s two major problems though: Parkhurst is 34 and is not willing to sign for peanuts.
In 2018, the eventual MLS Champions Atlanta were paying Parkhurst a hefty $340,000. Having won the MLS Cup and seeing that Parkhurst’s best days are most likely behind him, Atlanta offered the aging center back a contract provided he take a pay cut. Parkhurst refused this, with his thinking most likely being that he can get payed just as handsomely elsewhere. While I don’t doubt Parkhurst’s ability, paying a defender who will be turning 35 next month the same kind of money guys like Chanot and Tinnerholm are making would be foolish, especially with Ibeagha and Hountondji still at your disposal.
For the price, the move doesn’t make sense. Especially when NYCFC have yet to bring in a true replacement for Yangel Herrera who is not returning next season.