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Michael Parkhurst’s play in the Gold Cup has not been terrific, particularly in the first few games when he was shaking off the rust of five months on the bench for his club. But, considering the United States' muddled depth chart at right-back, it has been enough for him to work his way back into the conversation.
With Steve Cherundolo battling recurring knee injuries and Timmy Chandler’s dedication to the squad still in question, Brad Evans filled in admirably for the U.S. in June. Geoff Cameron looked poor on the right against Belgium in May, despite playing there fairly regularly for his club. Cameron may still be needed at center-back or as a defensive midfielder.
Right now there is no clear-cut consensus on who is the United States' No. 1 at right-back, or the No. 2 at right-back for that matter. Parkhurst had an outstanding fall campaign with FC Nordsjaelland and even played in the UEFA Champions League. His move to Augsburg in the January transfer window, however, saw him fall to the bench.
His early performances with the U.S. in the Gold Cup were not great, but he has not had the shocking mistakes often characteristic of U.S. outside backs in the past. Parkhurst also looked solid against El Salvador getting forward to help the U.S. attack and doing his work defensively. Klinsmann’s continued trust in Parkhurst is also a strong indicator of where Parkhurst fits in.
If he continues to play well for the U.S. in the semifinals and finals and has a strong club season, Parkhurst could definitely be on the plane heading to Brazil.