Parke: "It Was A Dream Of Mine" To Play For A Philadelphia Soccer Team

Stephen Dunn

Jeff Parke spoke of his desire to play soccer in Philadelphia, and to retire in the area where he began his professional career, during a conference call with Philadelphia Union media.

Jeff Parke's move to the Philadelphia Union put into place a long standing ambition of the defender, who discussed the trade with media on a conference call this morning.

"It was always something I wanted to be a part of (playing in Philadelphia)," Parke said on the call. "It was a dream of mine."

The one-time national team call up told reporters that he'd like to play out the rest of his career in Philadelphia.

"Hopefully [I] finish my career in a place where I started it," Parke said.

Union head coach John Hackworth also talked during the call and used Parke as an example of the type of player that the team wanted as part of its roster.

"We want players who want to be here," Hackworth said. "Our staff believes 100% that when yo have players who (want to be here) they are more motivated"

Parke's want to return to where he grew up, and his desire to fulfill his dreams, put him right in line with Hackworth's feelings about the motivations of players.

Part of Parke's aforementioned desire was revealed in a press release put out by his former team. The Seattle Sounders decision to trade away their Defensive Player of the Year was to aid in Parke's wish to be closer to his family, much of which resides in the Philadelphia area.

"Sometimes family trumps soccer, and in this case, we were able to help Jeff get closer to his family," Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said in Seattle's trade press release.

The center back joined a backline corps that already featured captain Carlos Valdes, former Major League Soccer Defender of the Year finalist Bakary Soumare and converted defender Amobi Okugo, who started for much of the season alongside Valdes.

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