David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
There could be implications for both club and country in this storyline.
Michael Parkhurst wasn't just out of favor at FC Augsburg—he was out of the picture entirely. The 30-year-old made just two appearances for the Bavarian side after signing in 2012. His World Cup stock took a massive blow.
A move to Columbus was made to resuscitate them.
As reported by Blair Angulo on MLS's official website, Parkhurst remains optimistic a few months ahead of Brazil:
In the summer I got a lot of opportunities with the national team and I was in camp for the World Cup qualifiers and with the Gold Cup team. In that way, [my time at Augsburg] didn't hinder me too much but at the same time, I think if I was playing regularly I could have fought for the starting position at right back. I could have made that mine, I feel like. But there's still five months left and now that I'm back at MLS and hopefully playing on a weekly basis I can make a push for the team.
Parkhurst's versatility works in his favor.
He predominately featured at right-back during a successful run for the United States in the 2013 Gold Cup. On Feb. 1, Parkhurst started and played all 90 minutes in a friendly against South Korea. Only eight of his 70 attempted passes failed to hit their mark. Defending well on the left, six recoveries were attributed to his side.
But while many want to throw Parkhurst's name into the outside-back discussion for the U.S. men's national team, Coach Berhalter thinks otherwise. The newly hired coach remains steadfast in his position to feature Parkhurst at center-back for the Crew this season. Columbus' flirtation with a 3-5-2 in the preseason sheds light on the reasoning behind his adamance.
Maybe, if he feels so inclined, opportunities at right-back will appear this season.
Fingers crossed those opportunities come early.
Parkhurst's World Cup chances aren't as slim as you think.
Brad Evans, who featured heavily in the World Cup qualifiers, doesn't even play the position for the Seattle Sounders. His abysmal performance against South Korea didn't silence any doubters, either.
An injury to Timothy Chandler limited the talent pool at the position for Jurgen Klinsmann. Eric Lichaj wasn't even in the final 18 against South Korea, and Steve Cherundolo has been losing the battle to his knees since 2012.
According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, the favorite to start at right-back in Brazil is former MLS player Geoff Cameron.
Parkhurst ranks third behind Cameron and Evans. But with a successful start to 2014, Klinsmann will be forced to take a hard look at a player with 22 caps.
The question is: Will Berhalter put Parkhurst in the "right" position for that to happen?
The storyline is with Parkhurst, but the captivation is with Federico Higuain. The Argentine is entering his third season with the Crew and will look to deliver more majestic finishes in 2014.