Atlanta United captain MIchael Parkhurst said his ankle is sore, but he plans on playing in Wednesday’s MLS All-Star game against Juventus at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti stepped on Parkhurst’s ankle as he was clearing a ball in the first half of Five Stripes’ 2-1 win last week. Parkhurst returned finished the game.
Parkhurst said he is going to take it easy on Monday and will test the ankle on Tuesday.
Parkhurst, 34, has helped Atlanta United to the league’s best record. The team has 47 points and six shutouts this season.
Wednesday’s will be Parkhurst’s second consecutive All-Star game and the sixth in his career.
“Each year the event gets bigger and bigger and the players year-round get better and better,” he said. “The events are fun. They keep you busy. It’s a good time.
“Now that I know most of the guys, been around them, played against them or with them, it’s enjoyable.”
Parkhurst said he has enjoyed showing some of the All-Stars around Atlanta United’s $60 million training center in Marietta.
“I think guys are appreciating what we have here,” he said. “They haven’t even seen the best part yet, which is lunch.”
Parkhurst said he is looking forward to not having to face Piatti and Houston’s Alberth Eli.
“There’s a lot of talent on this team,” he said.
Parkhurst may be one of the under-appreciated defenders in MLS. The Five Stripes have the largest goal difference (plus-22) in the league. Parkhurst has started each game.
“He’s just a smart player,” Dallas’ Matt Hedges said. “As a defender sometimes you see the guys who make tackles, but he’s always in the right spot. He doesn’t need to do that.”