Atlanta United hopeful it will re-sign Parkhurst

Atlanta United President Darren Eales said he is hopeful that the club will re-sign captain Michael Parkhurst for next season.

Speaking at the victory parade to celebrate the team’s MLS championship, Eales said that ultimately the decision whether or not to return will be up to Parkhurst.

“He’s seen the success we’ve had, he knows how much he means to us in terms of the squad so I’m hopeful that he will want to come back and repeat next season,” Eales said.

Parkhurst, 34, has been the captain for the team’s first two seasons. He finished third in the Defender of the Year voting in MLS this season.

The team announced on Sunday that it had declined the option on Parkhurst's contract, but were negotiating with him. The team on Monday made him available on the expansion draft for Cincinnati to consider taking. That draft will be held Tuesday.

The joy of winning his first MLS Cup in five appearances was evident on a cold, rainy Monday as Parkhurst brought the MLS Cup onto the stage at the end of the team’s victory parade.

“It feels good to be a champion,” he said.