The New York Red Bulls had at least one more big splash to make before the start of the 2018 MLS season, and it occurred just hours after the team’s first win of 2018.
On the afternoon of Friday, March 2, the Red Bulls announced that they had acquired CB Tim Parker from the Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange for M Felipe and $500,000 in Targeted Allocation Money spread out over two seasons.
OFFICIAL: @NewYorkRedBulls acquire center back @Tim_Parker26— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) March 2, 2018
➡️ https://t.co/3bsie4xdlX#RBNY pic.twitter.com/tAwXlU4t67
The 25-year-old Parker is a native New Yorker hailing from Nassau County, who spent his entire amateur and semi-pro soccer career in the New York City area before being drafted by Vancouver in 2015.
Over the past two years, Parker has been one of the top defenders in Vancouver, appearing in 75 games, including 32 in MLS last year. In 2018, Parker finished the year in the top five for both headed clearances and aerials won. He has earned three callups to USMNT camp, but has yet to earn his first cap.
Felipe departs the Red Bulls having set the club record for most games and minutes played in all competitions in a single year, and earning the respect of the Red Bull fanbase for his toughness (and occasional on-field trickiness).
Author’s Note: This trade was far more gut-wrenching than the Sacha Kljestan trade, but perhaps less hurtful than the Dax McCarty trade. The Red Bulls are saturated at midfield while the depth at center back is questionable to say the least.
It’s a shame that the Red Bulls had to give up so much for one player, but with Aurelien Collin on the decline and none of the backup CBs earning notice, Parker might prove to be more vital to the team’s long-term success than Felipe would have.