Photo: Nicolae Stoian
UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect the Union’s confirmation of the deal.
Philadelphia Union have acquired 30-year-old center back Jeff Parke from the Seattle Sounders.
The Union gave up allocation money and their first pick in the 2013 supplemental draft. Salary details as per league and club policy, were not announced, but Parke made $185,300 with Seattle in 2012.
Parke joins a long list of past and current Union players with local roots and is the first projected to be a regular starter. He was born in Abington, grew up in Downingtown, and played club ball for FC Delco before playing in college for Drexel University.
“It is a dream come true to be able to come home and play in front of my hometown fans and the Union faithful,” Parke said. “ I’m thrilled to join the organization and get started with the next chapter of my career.”
In 2004, he was selected by New York MetroStars. He was picked up by Seattle Sounders in the 2008 Expansion Draft but was released before the start of the 2009 season. He played one season for Vancouver Whitecaps in 2009 before returning to Seattle in 2010.
On Oct. 16, 2008, Parke, along with New York goalkeeper Jon Conway, received a ten-game suspension and fine after testing positive for the banned performance enhancing drugs androstatriendione (ATD) and boldenone metabolites. Both players said they unknowingly ingested the banned substances after consuming over-the-counter dietary supplements.
Rumblings of a possible move to the Union began early last week. The Seattle Times Sounders FC blog noted that Parke, whose wife was due to give birth to the couples first child at the end of November, “made a point of mentioning his family would be key in a decision on his future.”
We’ll have more details on this breaking story as they become available.