Atlanta United names captain

Atlanta United announced Michael Parkhurst as its first captain in a video released on Twitter on Friday.

Parkhurst is a 33-year-old defender who was acquired by Atlanta United in a trade with Columbus. He also captained the Crew, and was captain in last week’s preseason opening game at Chattanooga.

“The qualities you bring on the field, off the field, we know it’s important for us being a new club in the community, for Atlanta as well, so congratulations,” club technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in the video. “We’re excited. We’re proud of you. The first captain of Atlanta United.”

Atlanta United will play its second preseason game Saturday in the Carolina Challenge Cup. It will take on Columbus at 4:30 p.m.

When he was acquired in December, I predicted that Parkhurst would likely be named the team captain because of his experiences in MLS, Europe and the U.S. men’s national team.

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“The reason he’s perfect for Atlanta … is when you start from the ground up, you are going to have certain people who are good pros and every experienced and can start to mold an identity,” Eric Wynalda, an former U.S. men’s national team player, analyst for Fox and host of satellite radio show Wynalda Talks Football, said after the trade was announced. “You want guys like that in the locker room.”

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