Friday, December 07, 2012

Union acquire local defender Parke

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union have acquired defender Jeff Parke from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for allocation money and a first round pick in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft.

“We are excited to have Jeff join our team.”, said team manager John Hackworth.  “He is one of the top center backs in the League.  His character and experiences as both a person and a player will definitely be welcomed in our locker room.”

Parke, 30, played two seasons in Seattle after being signed in 2010 but was initially selected by Sounders FC in the 2008 MLS Expansion Draft after he was left unprotected following five seasons in New York. Parke made himself a mainstay in the Sounders’ starting lineup, appearing in 78 matches over three seasons. In a central defender role, Parke was instrumental in Seattle’s three straight MLS playoff appearances. Most of his MLS career was spent as defender in New York, after being selected as the final pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.

“It is a dream come true to be able to come home and play in front of my hometown fans and the Union faithful,” noted Parke. “ I’m thrilled to join the organization and get started with the next chapter of my career.”

Parke, a native of Abington who played college soccer at Drexel, is a Philadelphia original. He led area soccer power Downingtown West High School to back-to-back PIAA state championships and played for famed youth club and Union youth affiliate, FC DELCO.

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