Men's Soccer Notebook
Sept. 1, 2012
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@SIDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjælland will be competing in the UEFA Champions League, while John Hackworth has dropped the interim tag and has been named manager for the Philadelphia Union.
FC Nordsjælland is in Group E and is joined by Juventus, FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Chelsea. Parkhurst is just one of three Americans playing in the Champions League, along with Jermaine Jones and Sacha Kljestan.
Below are several links and excerpts from articles featuring the two former Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
By Brian Sciaretta, Yanks Abroad, August 21, 2012
With the Champions League group stages beginning next month, American defender Michael Parkhurst is excited for the challenges that lie ahead.
It was only last year when Parkhurst, 28, believed that he would be leaving Nordsjaelland during the winter break. But he decided to sign an extension because he had a sense the team was one the verge of something special.
He was right. In 2011/12, Nordsjaelland shocked Danish Superliga fans and won the title in the season's final game against Horsens. That victory also clinched the tiny club a spot in the prestigious group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
The draw for the group stages will be held on August 30 in Monaco and Parkhurst said that he along with his teammates are looking forward to learning their fate which could include some of the best teams in the world.
"We're destined to play some big teams so we're looking forward to that," Parkhurst told YA. "I think we all wanted to play Barcelona. I saw them play Manchester United in the preseason, and they're a big challenge. If a team like United struggles to get out of their own half against Barcelona, you know they're good. That'll be a reality check. It doesn't matter who we play, it'll be a challenge. We're looking forward to the draw right now. We're anxious for it."
American Exports: Yanks learn Champions League fates
By Greg Seltzer, MLSsoccer.com
AMSTERDAM - Three American exports learned their Champions League group stage assignments in Thursday afternoon's draw, with FC Nordsjælland defender Michael Parkhurst roped into Group E with holders Chelsea.
Also in that diffiuclt pool are Serie A Scudetto winners Juventus and Ukrainian champs Shakhtar Donetsk. While the match schedule is not yet set, Parkhurst & Co. will open group play on Sept. 18.
Among those set to kick off group play the following day are Jermaine Jones and Schalke. The Miners also have a sturdy challenge ahead, with Arsenal, Ligue 1 champs Montpellier and Greek title-holders Olympiakos.
Also down in the date book for a Sept. 19 opener are Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht. The Belgian holders will square off against AC Milan, Málaga and Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg.
Philadelphia Union can confirm that John Hackworth has been named as the club's permanent Team Manager with immediate effect.
The 42 year-old, who has almost two decades of coaching experience including seven years with the US national team, has been rewarded with a long-term contract after overseeing a sharp turnaround in the club's form following his appointment as Team Manager on an interim basis on June 13th 2012.
Hackworth transformed a record of 2-7-2 set in the Union's first 11 games of the season to 5-6-2 in his opening 13 in charge, including a sensational run in July where the team picked up 12 points from a possible 15 and made a strong run into the Semi Final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
John Hackworth said: "I'm very excited to have been given this opportunity. I've worked for this organization since 2009 and it's been a real privilege to see it grow into the wonderful club it is today.
"We have a very talented and committed group of players in our locker room and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to continue working with them long term as they and the organization continue to develop.
"I'd like to thank Jay Sugarman, Nick Sakiewicz and our magnificent fans for their continued support and I look forward to building towards our future successes together."