Parke leaves Seattle, will train with Vancouver as Sounders shop his rights

Jeff Parke ( 

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Jeff Parke's return to Major League Soccer is going to have to wait.

Parke has left the Seattle Sounders after spending less than a week with the club. The former New York Red Bulls defender could not reach a contract agreement with Seattle and has left, the Seattle Times reported on Thursday.

Sources have told SBI that Parke will train with the USL Vancouver Whitecaps until a resolution is reached within MLS, most likely in the form of a trade for Parke's rights. If a resolution cannot be reached, Parke will return to Europe for more trials this summer after failing to secure a deal in Belgium this winter.

So where might Parke wind up? Three destinations make the most sense: New York, D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Red Bulls are clearly in need of central defense help and Parke was one of the team's best defenders for the past five years, before a 10-match suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs coupled with the end of his contract, led to his departure. After failing to reach an agreement on a new contract with Parke, the Red Bulls left him exposed in the expansion draft, where Seattle selected.

As much sense as it makes, it is very unlikely to happen. Along with New York needing to come up with a trade package to get Parke, there is also the matter of any lingering resentment over the entire drug suspension fiasco. Parke told SBI last week that there were still some bad feelings for how the Red Bulls handled his suspension.

"You don't ever want to close all doors or shut the door to a place," Parke said. "New York is a great place, and I liked playing with the guys, so I can't say that I wouldn't ever want to go back, but it's going to take some time for me to get over the whole situation and what happened."

Perhaps the most likely destination is the Los Angeles Galaxy, which could use a central defender. Sources tell SBI that LA has already inquired about Parke and LA head coach Bruce Arena is very familiar with Parke, having coached him with New York in 2006 and 2007. Just what LA could give up in a trade remains to be seen.

D.C. United also makes sense because of the team's need for central defense help. The club did sign Dejan Jakovic and Anthony Peters in the off-season, but Parke could still step right in and start for D.C., after serving the four remaining matches of his suspension, that is.

Who else could use Parke? Not many teams in MLS don't need a centerback. Toronto FC could use him, and has made attempts to acquire Parke in the past so they can't be ruled out. San Jose and Colorado are also clubs that could use a solid central defender.

The reality is that Parke could start for several teams in MLS, but the Sounders have to agree to a deal and a team has to be willing to sign a player who will serve a four-game suspension. Sources tell SBI that the Sounders have set the bar high for a trade price for Parke's rights, meaning a deal may not be made before Parke heads back to Europe for trials this summer.

Where do you think Jeff Parke should go? Could you see him in LA? Still holding out hope for a reunion with New York? Think Seattle is crazy for not signing him?

Share your thoughts below.

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56 Responses to Parke leaves Seattle, will train with Vancouver as Sounders shop his rights

  1. smorebs says:

    I’ll take him back in NY any time!

  2. Matt says:

    well dc did waive Ryan Miller, although I think he was only on a dev slot. Hey Seattle, how does Domenic Mediate sound?

  3. Indie FC says:

    I think this is a dicey proposition for clubs. You sign a guy, only to lose him a few months later to a Norwegian or Danish club? It wouldn’t matter how good he is–that’s just not good for club chemistry and continuity.

    Then you mix in the fact that Parke has an inflated view of his own value. Ongoing depression/anger at what he obviously feels was getting the shaft from the league, which followed him to Europe when he tried out in the off-season and ultimately short-circuited any chance he had their short-term.

    Finally, if Seattle doesn’t have the money to sign this guy, who the heck does? He wants $130-180,000 for the season. Fredy Montero doesn’t even make that… Imo, he needs a cooling down period and then a reality check. The guy isn’t even in the national team mix for crying out loud. He was a fool to leave Seattle–it would have done much to heal his wounds it he’d just show a little patience.

  4. Bandit says:

    What about TFC? He’s played under Mo before, and apparently Mo’s a big fan of his as well.

  5. arkjayback says:

    Please let him go to LA.

    LA is still the face of MLS with Beckham on their payroll. If LA with Donovan and Lewis and Kirovski and Kovalenko can land a solid central defender, their near-future looks a LOT better.

    Ricketts, Parke, and Kovalenko in the center of the field is such a HUGE upgrade over Pires, Vanney, and Cronin.

  6. martha c says:

    I dont know wht the league is offering…

    but the guy just isnt that good.

    Borderline starter. Couldnt start for a top echelon team like the Fire or Columbus.

    that coupled with the stigma attached to him …I just wonder if hes over estimating his worth right now.

    He needs to get a deal that allows him to play to prove himself again.

  7. Hopper says:

    Too bad for Jeff Parke. He could have been part of something special in Seattle. I don’t quite understand what the problem was, as he had indicated in a previous Seattle Times story that he was happy to be here.

    He would have been a good addition to Seattle’s back line, but the Sounders can’t afford to waste anymore time on him. He’s been nothing but a distraction up to this point.

  8. Frank says:

    His he allowed to play after week 4 or does his suspension start back up once he signs with a team?

  9. cbr says:

    parke could start for 70% of the MLS teams out there.

    as a nyrb fan i’d LOVE to see him back..him and petke in the center would be great.

    im willing to give up a first round draft pick to get him back…he’s still got many years left in the tank, he wont demand big bucks , plus he’s a proven mls player.

  10. Smith says:

    Actually as far as pay goes, didn’t Parke want $150K when his contract was last up?

  11. Aljarov says:

    I’d say that Chicago is the only team not in need of a centre back….the rest could use one (or two on some teams).

    He’s starter quality, but not top level and never in the mix for the US MNT.

    He needs to learn his value in the context of MLS, decide if he can accept it, find a team willing to sit out his suspension and then see what happens.

    I’d take him in Toronto, but I think LA makes the most sense…..then they could get Sanneh out the starting line up.

  12. kahlva says:

    I’d say LA has the best shot at him (need, interest, familiarity with Arena)… But man it would be great if he were back in NY!

  13. lakaix15 says:

    Ill give SSFC, Mendes, Goldy, and Petravallo….

    for Parke….

  14. SSFC09 says:

    If Parke would have joined Seattle for preseason we wouldn’t have “El Presidente” Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. I think its a win win for Seattle. Hurtado was on trial with AC Milan before he came to Seattle, and he is young and has a huge upside. Parke is trying to big time Seattle with no real leverage. I’ll bet Parke sits until summer and goes overseas never to be heard from again. No MLS teams needs a player who puts himself before the club

  15. Murphy says:

    the galaxy would be crazy not to trade for this guy…

  16. Matt says:

    The issue isn’t whether Parke could contribute, but who’s going to pay for him? It appears he priced himself out of Seattle, which had cap room to pay him a decent MLS salary. Now he’s hoping another team will give Seattle something of value and pay him more than Seattle was willing to pay. So unless there’s a player swap or a bottom dweller willing to trade a top draft pick, Seattle is probably looking for allocation money, which would only decrease the salary cap space the acquiring team would have to sign Parke. It’d be a costly acquisition for a guy who is good, but not a star.

    Maybe somebody will bite, but Parke may be best served by playing in Vancouver for a while and then giving Europe another try this summer during their offseason.

  17. ciscokid says:

    As a Seattle fan I’m disappointed, but there’s too much good stuff happening here to get caught up in it. I too think he may be overestimating his value, and he does sound very resentful and angry.

    Since he never played for us, I can’t really miss him, but I wish him the best and hope Seattle can parlay some value out of a trade.

  18. EDB says:

    sounds like someone has a higher opinion of himself then others do

  19. RonS says:

    I heard that in order to generate some income in the short term, Parke has taken a part-time job as a salesman for athletic supplements.

  20. djking2 says:

    I doubt anyone in the MLS looks like a good value when you compare salaries with F. Montero.

  21. Turtle says:

    USL wins again! This reminds me a little of Avery John – without the supplements.

  22. Jose Canseco says:

    Jeff Parke can come hang out at my pool in Miami.

  23. joel says:

    It is possible that Seattle made the right decision. Hurtado’s contract is smaller than Parkes would have been.

  24. einar says:

    why would Petke go back to new york? when he doesnt want to?

  25. kpugs says:

    Osorio needs to get on this asap. I doubt L.A., since they suck, has enough to give to Seattle for his rights. I’m sure the Sounders could get more from one of the other east coast teams or Chicago.

    JCO get on the horn son.

  26. Smith says:

    petke already is back in NY.

  27. Cindy says:

    if he wants to come back to NY at any point during this shopping i sure he’s taken up on it. i still love Parke and i feel like most RBNY fans still have love for him.

  28. Chase says:

    “I think this is a dicey proposition for clubs. You sign a guy, only to lose him a few months later to a Norwegian or Danish club? It wouldn’t matter how good he is–that’s just not good for club chemistry and continuity.”

    He is technically out of contract right now with MLS (hence the flexibility he has to sign on a free transfer in Europe).

    I think the assumption is that if he were traded he would resign with MLS, so him leaving in the summer would not be an issue (unless someone came in willing to pay a transfer fee-which is highly unlikely seeing how he was unable to secure a deal for free).

  29. Neal says:

    Wasn’t he the last draft pick overall?

  30. Northzax says:

    this is, I think, a good sign for mls. I don’t see dcu making much of an offer. parke is decent, a midrange starter with a serious attitude problem. DC needs leadership in the back, Parke just doesn’t have that sort of credibility right now, especially with the four games still hanging over his head. I like that more and more teams are trying to build off of older leadership guys and young, hungry ones. If I had a very strong, veteran lockerroom and needed one more guy in the back, I might take a flyer on Parke, but I don’t really see anyone in MLS in that situation. Maybe LA, since they have Arena’s leadership.

  31. JesseMT says:

    If I’m the Sounders, I want to make sure I get something for him, and I want to make sure I don’t trade him in my conference if possible. Even though the four wild card spots for playoffs makes this year operate more like a single-table, the Sounders probably think they have a chance, along with Houston, RSL, and Chivas USA, to finish in one of the West’s top two slots.

    I’d send him to DCU for a 2nd round 2010 draft pick (they gave one up to Houston for Ianni) and $100K in allocation money.

  32. Mark says:


    That would be awesome!! I Could wear my Red Bulls jersey to Whitecaps games without getting funny looks.

  33. Peter in NJ says:

    His he allowed to play after week 4 or does his suspension start back up once he signs with a team?

    Posted by: Frank | March 27, 2009 at 12:43 PM


    Once he is signed by an MLS team, then he must serve the four game suspension. That means that if he does not and signs with a European team he would still need to serve the four game suspension whenever if ever he returns to MLS.

  34. Carlos says:

    I’ve said this before on a Sounders board, but whatever is done should be done to the benefit of the Sounders, and Parke’s interests should be a distant second. If we can’t get a deal that makes sense for us, then good luck to Parke on finding somewhere to play. I don’t think the Sounders have any obligation to Parke after all this back and forth. I don’t think we should make a substandard deal just to resolve the situation.

  35. Evan says:

    This is ridiculous and one of the biggest reasons These RB fans are probably some of the most retarded in MLS. First of all, this guy took a “supplement” without consulting anyone in the club in an era where steroid controversy in sports is rampant. Then he claims the “supplement” was tainted. He serves a suspension last year, while the bulls are making their run for the cup. RB then negotiates with him, DESPITE ALL THIS, and offers to TRIPLE his current salary (astoldbyives). Parke rejects the offer to go to europe. Once there he assumes the euros would never find out about his little suspension. They boot his ass back to the states a.s.a.p. , only to spend the start of the MLS season in the stands. After probably overestimating his value after all of his shenanigans, doesn’t sign with seattle and now will “try” to stick with vancouver. And finally he might try his luck again in europe this summer…….. lol and just about every RB fan is BEGGING him to come back lol absolute hilarity, it really is…

  36. ag nigrin says:

    Evan, if you knew Jeff Parke like we do.. you wouldn’t have made the inflammatory remarks you did. He is one of the nicest players the Red Bulls have ever had and it is no wonder fans want him back. He deserves every penny he asks for and the Bulls could obviously use him. Now…Evan look at your backside! That is the best side of you.

  37. United fury says:

    I just don’t understand why he took the supplements. It’s not exactly the thing that will help soccer skills very much. Seems more useful in basketball and football where strength is emphasized more than speed and craftyness.

  38. inkedAG says:

    I would love to have Jeff Parke come back to NY. I know that won’t happen, so I’d like him to go to LA or to Europe.

  39. Eugene says:

    “negotiations of attrition” will bring the price down with Seattle. They don’t really have much leverage here, since they only hold his rights. It’s hard to pay a lot for a player who’s guaranteed to sit out for a month with his suspension.

  40. Speechless in Seattle says:

    Uhhh, there’s a reason why RBNY and Seattle don’t want him. He’s a got a hugely inflated view of what he’s worth.

    And why would RBNY take him back? They just got rid of him because he wouldn’t play for what they offered him.

    He can play a year in the Luxembourg Premier League and then get picked by Philly in 2010, where the locals will just love him.

  41. Miguel says:

    That’s not true, Speechless. The Red Bulls offered Parke in the neighborhood of $150k but he told the Red Bulls that he might try his luck in Europe. That’s why the left him unprotected in the draft. Sounds like the Sounders lowballed him thinking that Parke would accept a ‘substandard deal just to resolve the situation’. Red Bulls fans, like myself, would love to have him back as he’s been our best central defender the last two years. I could give a crap that he’s not ‘National Team Calibre’ but he’s certainly a big upgrade over Boyens, Goldthwaite or Mendes.

  42. Martin Blank says:

    The Sounders are under no obligation to deal with this guy. Center back is not a “need” position for the team with Hurtado, Marshall, Graham, Ianni and Wahl. There’s no reason to overpay Parke. What benefit is it to the Sounders to trade away his right for less than what they should be worth? If a team is really interested in having him, then they should pay fair value. The Sounders are definitely bargaining from a position of strength, and Parke is a bit at their mercy right now.

    He may be a good player and a good person, but in the MLS where salary cap dollars are dear, Parke really needs to reassess his choices right now. It seems like he has decided that this should be his “cash it in” contract, but given the predicament, I don’t see any team that will pay him what he thinks he’s worth.

  43. Miguel says:

    Graham??? They guy is a traffic cone. I don’t Hurtado and Marshall are very good. I don’t know about Ianni and Wahl. We have two traffic cones of our own in Boyens and Goldthwaite. It would be nice to get rid of, at least, one of them for Parke.

  44. Sterlinho says:

    Trade him to Philly for allocation money or their DP slot. Let the boy go home!

    Then Philly can loan him out to whoever they want for this season.

  45. jman81 says:

    I am a parke fan, and although I feel bad for the guy about not being able to secure himself a new deal, this situation is all on him. He was offered a new contract at rbny, even though he had the ban hanging over his head, and he rejected it because he presumably wanted more than rbny offered. He planned on getting a deal overseas, basically cutting all possible future ties to NY, and for whatever reason he couldn’t secure one. NY knew he wasn’t coming back to NY, so they left him open to selection in the draft, and seattle picked his rights. He comes back to MLS and again tries to get a big contract, and seattle doen’t give him the amount he wanted, and now he is in limbo. Considering he wants a big contract, let’s say in the 150k-200k region, a potential club would need to have this amount open, and in addition have whatever amount seattle wants to sell his rights, which seems like too much effort and money for a guy like parke. Unless he settles for less money than he wanted, I don’t see how he returns to MLS, in which case he should have just accepted the original deal RBNY had offered him.

  46. KingSnake says:

    LA the face of MLS?

    Wrong end …

  47. cb says:

    parke should drop the attitude and get back with his boys in NY. the fans want him back!

  48. Ryan says:

    Shout Out on FSC Fox Soccer Report for this one. Well Done Ives!!!

  49. Greg says:

    How was Seattle going to use him? Hurtado and Marshall did a great job helping limit NY to only two shots on net last week against Angel and Rojas. The are only going to get better. I don’t think Seattle really needs him.

    It is obvious that Parke is shopping around, Seattle does not need the distraction. They should get a decent player and allocation money for him. Parkes loss not Seattle’s.

  50. lawdawg says:

    Sounds like Jeff wasn’t satisfied with just being in the mix here in Seattle. We have moved on and he would just be an expensive insurance policy. Isn’t worth what he is looking for….at least here in Seattle.

  51. BrianK says:

    Park is overplaying his hand. He is a decent player and appears to be a decent guy,…but he is not worth $150K. If he turned that kind of money down then he is a fool or getting bad advice or both. MLS has all the leverage now. He was not good enough to score a contract in Europe ( Remember Mike Burns and Jeff Agoos? And forget this notion of teams passing on him because he was ‘tainted.’)

    LA might be his best option. My bet is he gets $80-90K and his rights are traded to Galaxy.

  52. Cyclone says:

    I could see Chicago trading Prideaux (from Seattle area, salary $75,600) for him if he would sign for something under $100K. Chicago doesn’t need it like LA. However, they are looking at Conde for dmid, and could use the flexibility.

  53. jloome says:

    The first time a Seattle centre half goes down injured this season, I am gonna laugh my ass off recalling all of these expert fans saying they don’t need him.

    Lots ot teams platoon veteran players into varying defensive roles for this very reason: so they can justify their salary while still maintaining depth.

  54. Mike says:

    Pietravallo and Goldthwaite for Parke!

  55. Marc Weber says:

    He’s going to sign with Vancouver for a couple of months, then look for European opportunities. link to

  56. Irish says:

    I love Parke. I want him back here in NY, but if that’s not going to happen. I rather want him to go to LA. It will be so hard for me to support him if he plays for DC.