The New York Red Bulls’ 2018 off-season had two defining events: the early-January trade of (former) captain Sacha Kljestan to Orlando City, and the (almost) 60-day saga that was the on-off-on-off-on effort to bring Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra to RBNY. With both those transfers - and a few others - completed, the Red Bulls looked set to head into the new season with a remodeled squad and renewed ambition.
Not so fast. Before setting sail on the journey into the 2018 season, RBNY had one last piece of business to complete. And it was a piece of business that managed to combine features of the Red Bulls’ last two big splashes in the transfer market. The trade sending Felipe to Vancouver Whitecaps briefly took on characteristics of the Kaku transfer, as the rumor mill seemed unable to quite figure out if the deal was on, off, or didn’t involve Felipe at all. And, of course, for the second time in two months, the Red Bulls traded away a seemingly-indispensable starting midfielder.
On this occasion, RBNY got Tim Parker in return.
The deal sends $500,000 in Targeted Allocation Money to Vancouver with Felipe and an international roster spot for 2018. The TAM payment will be split over two years: $225, 000 this year, and $275,000 in 2019.
For all that, RBNY gets Parker: a 25-year-old center-back who is about a representative of local soccer as it is possible to be - he’s from Hicksville, NY; he played his college soccer for St. John’s, and summered with Long Island Rough Riders and Brookyln Italians during his NCAA years.
“Tim is an established MLS talent with a lot of the qualities we look for in our defenders,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. “When we started to evaluate options to bring in a center back, Tim was the ideal candidate for us because of his physical tools, understanding of the game, and presence on the field. We are pleased to get him here and look forward to getting him on the field.”
The Oyster Bay, Long Island, native played four seasons at St. John’s University, leading the Red Storm to three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and the 2011 Big East Title - alongside current Red Bull Connor Lade. He has represented the United States internationally through the U-23 age group.
“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.”
The longest-tenured player on the Red Bulls current squad will be very happy to have a college teammate with him this time around. But, sadly, we must also say goodbye to another veteran who has done a great deal for RBNY.
“Felipe represented our club with passion every time he took the field,” said Denis Hamlett. “He is a respectable man as well as a quality player for our club. We thank him for his contributions to the club, and wish him and his family all the best.”
Felipe came over from the Montreal Impact back in 2015 in the trade that sent Eric Alexander (now in Houston) and Ambrose Oyongo (now in France) to Canada. The Brazilian helped capture the 2015 Supporters’ Shield for RBNY. He played and started 100 league matches for the team, and has scored some fantastic goals in his three-year stint with the club.
Who can forget that big free-kick winner against the Houston Dynamo in 2016?
“Felipe has been a big part of our team for the last three seasons,” said Marsch. “His dedication to this team and club was at the highest level every day. I personally owe him so much for his commitment to this team. Here at Red Bull, we all wish him and his family great success in the future.”
So long and good luck, Felipe. Many thanks for all the memories. And welcome to RBNY, Tim - we are looking forward to watching you at work.