Union Negotiating With Jeff Parke To Bring The Out-Of-Contract Defender Home

Otto Greule Jr

The Brotherly Game has learned that veteran defender Jeff Parke is in talks with the Philadelphia Union to bring the out-of-contract defender home to the East Coast.

Speculation has pointed to the Philadelphia Union's offseason transfer target list focusing upon the acquisition of players with scoring touch, but the newest link for the Union is out of the backline.

The Brotherly Game has learned that veteran defender Jeff Parke is in talks with the Union to bring the out-of-contract defender home to the Philadelphia area. Parke has been rumored to want to return to the East Coast and the Union are interested.

Any acquisition of the former Drexel Dragon standout would require a trade with the Sounders for his contractual rights.

If the Union were to acquire Parke's rights and sign him to a contract, he would join a center back group that includes captain Carlos Valdes, former Major League Soccer Defender of the Year finalist Bakary Soumare, Chris Albright and midfielder-turned-defender Amobi Okugo.

Parke appeared in 30 games, 29 starts, for the Seattle Sounders this year, coming back from an early season benching to finish among the team's leaders in minutes played.

"The Seattle Sounders center back has found himself on the bench for each of his team's first two MLS games," SB Nation's Jeremiah Oshan wrote for MLSsoccer.com in March. "This comes on the heels of starting the Sounders' two CONCACAF Champions League games. In 2011, Parke started 38 matches across all competitions and was named his team's Defender of the Year. In the offseason, he earned his first United States national team cap."

Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid eventually changed his mind about Parke's playing time and from then on out the 30-year-old performed at a very high level for Seattle.

"He was quickly back and probably deserves consideration for the January United States Men's National Team camp," Dave Clark, managing editor of Sounder at Heart, told the Brotherly Game. "He's a finalist for SaH Sounder Defensive Player of Year."

The Union had chose not to respond to this report when contacted for comment.

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