Tim Parker

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP

Red Bulls acquire Parker from Vancouver

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The New York Red Bulls are bringing one of the better young center backs in U.S. Soccer back home.

[ MORE: MLS 2018 roundtable ]

Tim Parker, 25, is moving from Vancouver to RBNY in exchange for Felipe Martins, $500,000 in Targeted Allocation Money over two years, and an international roster spot for 2018.

Parker’s departure is made palatable by the addition of Aaron Maund by Real Salt Lake, as Caps leader Kendall Waston will work with a new center back partner.

As for New York, their ability replace stars with players from their prolific academy (Tyler Adams, Sean Davis) makes them lethal in the trade market.

“Tim is the type of defender we look for,” said Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch. “His soccer knowledge, athleticism, and one-on-one defending ability are qualities that fit with what we ask of our center backs. I know he is glad to be coming home to New York, and we think he will thrive in our style of play.”

Parker’s 3150 minutes for Vancouver last season led the team by 410. The Long Island-born defender was drafted 13th overall by the Caps out of St. John’s in 2015.

Marsch brought Felipe to New York from Montreal, and he played 100 matches for the Red Bulls. The 27-year-old played for the Impact from 2012-14.

Whitecaps defender Tim Parker being tracked by several teams from East

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP
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Tim Parker’s next destination could very well be closer to his hometown, however, other MLS sides are in hot pursuit of the U.S. Men’s National Team defender.

[ MORE: CCL recap — FC Dallas falls, Club America struts its stuff ]

The Vancouver Whitecaps center back has been the subject of trade speculation recently, and Pro Soccer Talk has learned that Parker has turned down a new contract with the Cascadia side that would have kept the 24-year-old in Canada for at least three more seasons.

Multiple sources have told PST that the deal Parker rejected was worth over $1.4 million in totality. Metro New York’s Kristian Dyer was the first to report the story.

Parker was subject to make roughly $99,000 in 2017, according to the MLS Players Union, although he’s expected to receive a significant increase with any new deal that he signs. On an average basis, Parker would have made over $400,000 annually had he signed a new contract with the Whitecaps.

A New York-native, Parker has been looking to return to the East Coast after spending three seasons with the Whitecaps. The former Saint John’s University standout was selected in the first round by the Whitecaps in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, after spending all four years with the Red Storm on the collegiate level.

Sources can also confirm that D.C. United and the Montreal Impact have emerged as the leaders to obtain Parker’s services if a deal is struck with the defender, although a move to the New York Red Bulls hasn’t been ruled out.

The Red Bulls have shown interest in the young defender for some time — and would be the preferred destination for the player — given Parker’s New York roots. A combination of allocation money and a player would likely be needed from the Red Bulls if the Eastern Conference side proved to be serious about pursuing Parker.

D.C. has managed to acquire significant allocation money over recent years, particularly GAM, which would prove to be essential in signing Parker. Ben Olsen’s defense has been built around USMNT center back Steve Birnbaum — who arrived in 2014 — but an addition of Parker would surely benefit a D.C. back line that conceded 60 goals in 34 regular season matches a season ago.

Meanwhile, a move for the Impact would be logical given the fact that the Canadian side lost center back Laurent Ciman this offseason when the Belgian international was traded to expansion side Los Angeles FC.

Stock up/stock down after USMNT’s wild World Cup qualifiers

AP Photo/ Moises Castillo
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It’s funny how wild different results can swing a discussion.

Before last week, many United States soccer supporters would’ve gladly accepted four of six points from the qualifiers with Guatemala, knowing those results would’ve cleared its path to the Hex.

[ VIDEO: Previewing every PL match in Week 32 ]

The Yanks, instead, gave Guatemala three in match No. 1 before taking a trio of their own on Tuesday. The U.S. is now in good position to advance, but no one’s doing backflips after this week.

That said, that first loss opened the door for several players to improve their World Cup stock. Naturally, several others will have found their chances significantly damaged by it.

Stock up

Steve Birnbaum —  Kind of surprising Birnbaum didn’t get a look ahead of Michael Orozco in the first match, but the latter’s implosion in Guatemala City allowed “Birdbomb” to get a home start on Tuesday. One of the stars of the Yanks’ winter wins over Iceland and Canada, Birnbaum moved up the depth chart a peg this break.

Geoff Cameron —  This “stock up” is more in public perception than Jurgen Klinsmann’s mind, we think, because Cameron is a top-flight defender and has been for some time. He was dynamite against Guatemala in Columbus, and one of the only effective USMNT players in Guatemala City.

As the only full-time American field player in the Premier League before DeAndre Yedlin broke through on loan with Sunderland, Cameron can also adequately play defensive mid and right back. On a team without Michael Bradley, he just may be the captain.

Every player who wasn’t called up or was hurt — Life without John Brooks and Fabian Johnson wasn’t dandelions, let alone roses. Given the poor displays almost across the board on Friday, it’s not absurd to think players like Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj, and Tim Ream are all looking a bit more attractive to Jurgen Klinsmann.

Stock down

Mix Diskerud — It’s hard to imagine what’s become of Diskerud in a year. The midfielder came to New York City FC and has since struggled to play well for the national team. After scoring three goals for the U.S. in 2014, he’s since nabbed just a lone tally for the Stars and Stripes. Yes he was played out of position, but the jury remains out on Mix after seeing his first season’s production at NYC fail to meet his last season in Norway.

Michael Orozco — With plenty of respect to a veteran Liga MX defender and the fact that he shouldn’t have even been on the pitch for the USMNT after going months without first team football, Orozco had a terrible game alongside Omar Gonzalez in Guatemala City. At 30 and with Matt Miazga, Tim Parker and Cameron Carter-Vickers waiting in the wings, Orozco has probably done his last cap dance.

Stock questionable

Gyasi Zardes —  At 24, Zardes is unquestionably a remarkable talent when ‘on’. But at what point do we cross the line from “He’s inexperienced at a high level” to “He should really have a better first touch by now.” Zardes has a good head for positioning and works his tail off, and has three goals in his first 22 caps (just one since July). Given his playing time, shouldn’t it click soon? At least for the Galaxy? Still he was an integral part of two goals in the 4-0 win over Guatemala, and an international goal is an international goal almost regardless of where it’s scored.

MORE: NASL adds first West Coast team ]

Bonus stock ups and downs — U.S. U-23s

Tim Parker — Up until his stamp in leg 2, Parker was the best player on the side.
Ethan Horvath — The front-runner to be a long-term USMNT goalkeeper

Jordan Morris — His slow start to life in MLS moved onto the U-23 pitch
Kellyn Acosta — Was played out of position, but that doesn’t excuse everything.
Wil Trapp — Also a bit out-of-position, yet had little influence.

Three things from the U.S. U-23’s 1-1 draw with Colombia in Olympic playoff 1st leg

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After an hour or so of allowing my heartbeat to return to a normal rhythm given the relentless Colombian attack and its threats to crush my Olympic dreams or at least the chance to watch the U.S. men play soccer in the Olympics, I’m ready to speak.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

Here’s three things we learned from the 1-1 draw in Barranquilla on Friday.


Three years ago, Tim Parker (above) was playing in the NPSL. Two years ago, he was a St. John’s team that went 4-10-4. Last year, he was breaking into the lineup for the Vancouver Whitecaps, also on loan to their USL side.

Tonight, he was the best player on the United States men’s U-23 national team, keeping the flame burning for a nation’s men’s Olympic hopes.

Parker combined with Matt Miazga (Chelsea) to form a solid backbone for Andi Herzog’s unit, and he was a step above his center back mate. Given the relentless pressure provided by the Colombians, it’s a minor miracle they didn’t find a second goal. But they didn’t… and Parker was the main reason why.


Herzog’s plan for the first half-hour, keeping a very narrow midfield in a bit of a 4-3-1-2, frustrated and flustered Colombia. It arguably kept them off-balance enough to allow Mario Rodriguez to set up Luis Gil for the opening goal.

The second half, though, had the U.S. looking disjointed whenever they found possession. Granted Herzog was forced into an early sub when goalkeeper Ethan Horvath was hurt, but his two remaining subs were used to take out Gil and Rodriguez.

United States' coach Andi Herzog instructs players during a U-23 first leg soccer match qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics against Colombia at the Roberto Melendez Stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Kellyn Acosta and Jordan Morris were gasping for air, and Acosta was toasted on the right flank time and again. Some are writing that off as Acosta playing out of position — he’s a DCM for FC Dallas — but regardless he needed to be moved. He could’ve slid into center for Gil if the midfielder needed to come off that bad, but it was clear it wasn’t his night against a dangerous wide attack.

We saw this in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, too. Herzog show some terrific game-planning and seems to be a heck of a coach, but his adjustments have been disappointing.


As in gasping for air. Jordan Morris might be the great hope of the United States, but we’ve seen he’s far from a finished product. His outside of the right foot bender off the crossbar was gorgeous to watch, but that’s a left-footed shot he passed up to take it. And we’re not talking about a “He thinks two steps ahead of the goalkeeper” right-footer, but a “He went out of his way to use his right” right-footer. Disappointing.

Then again, Morris was gassed and playing in terrible heat (the pregame index was a “real feel” of 102). He’s also on the heels of his busiest and most unrelenting game sequence of his career (full college season, trial with Werder Bremen, Sounders preseason, starting role for Seattle). He can be forgiven, but we’d love to see him breakthrough for club and country ASAP, thanks.

United States' team pose for a group photo prior to the U-23 first leg soccer match qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics against Colombia at the Roberto Melendez Stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia, Friday, March 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

USMNT’s January camp has recent history of producing reliable first-teamers

AP Photo/Felipe Dana
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As the years have gone by, and U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has had more and more time to make his mark on the U.S. program — expanding the player pool sits atop the list of positives of his tenure — the USMNT’s annual January camp has become less about debuting stars of the future, and more about extending an opportunity for the lesser heralded American player to shine — about one player each of Klinsmann’s four full years in the job.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

As such, recent history has shown January camp is much less likely to produce a future standout for the USMNT, and much more likely to unearth a hidden gym capable of becoming a regular contributor. The following players have used January call-ups and debuts to launch their USMNT careers to varied successes…

Gyasi Zardes, forward, January camp class of 2015 — Zardes made a staggering 19 appearances for the USMNT in 2015, after emerging the main bright spot in last year’s camp and ensuing friendlies. In his first 19 caps, Zardes managed to bag three goals while playing mostly as a left winger in Klinsmann’s 4-2-3-1(-ish) system. Like the rest of the names on this list, Zardes hasn’t been, and likely never will be, a superstar for the USMNT, but remains a useful and growing contributor 12 months after his debut.

[ MORE: USA vs. Iceland preview — USMNT kicks off 2016 on Sunday ]

DeAndre Yedlin, defender, January camp class of 2014 — Yedlin’s USMNT debut came on Feb. 1, 2014, and six short months later, the now-22-year-old had become an overnight sensation at the 2014 World Cup and signed for Premier League giant Tottenham Hotspur. Now on loan at Sunderland, Yedlin remains a first-team regular for the USMNT, if not a full-time starter. Yet another reminder: sports are all about opportunities, and what you do with them when they come along.

[ MORE: 5 USMNT players with the most to gain from upcoming friendlies ]

Matt Besler, defender, January camp class of 2013 — There has been no more timely emergence of a must-start-every-game player in quite some time than Besler, who in two months’ time in 2012 went from making his USMNT debut in January, to part of the team that drew 0-0 at Mexico’s Estadio Azteca in March, to anchoring the defense during a series of World Cup qualifiers in June. Three years later, Besler is still a virtually undroppable player.

[ MORE: Matt Miazga unveiled by Chelsea | Hiddink: “Squad player for future” ]

Graham Zusi, midfielder, January camp class of 2012 — Zusi’s rise from “nice MLS player” to USMNT regular happened pretty quickly; after making his debut in January 2012, the Sporting Kansas City attacker had amassed 28 of his 32 caps thus far by the end of 2014. That run obviously included the 2014 World Cup, where Zusi notched a pair of assists as the USMNT advanced to the round of 16. Now somewhat on the outside looking in, Zusi is just an injury or two — or a red-hot month or two of club form — away from being right back in the picture.

[ MORE: Freddy Adu is cool with his soccer career, and we should be too ]

Class of 2016 newcomers to keep an eye on

Perry Kitchen, midfielder, free agent

Tony Tchani, midfielder, Columbus Crew SC

Ethan Finlay, midfielder, Columbus Crew SC

Tim Parker, defender, Vancouver Whitecaps

Kellyn Acosta, midfielder, FC Dallas

Matt Polster, midfielder/defender, Chicago Fire