NPSL alum Tim Parker was traded to the New York Red Bulls from the Vancouver Whitecaps in March, and the defender has had a breakout season for his hometown club.
“(Playing for your hometown club) is something every player would like to do,” Parker said. “When the chance to make it happen came about I was very happy and it’s been great so far.”
Parker, a Hicksville, New York native, has helped lead the Red Bulls to a blistering regular season campaign. RBNY currently sit just one point behind Atlanta United FC with 62 points. With three games to play, RBNY could break the record for most points in MLS history (69). Parker’s stellar play in the back line has played a major part in that success. Parker has made 26 appearances, all starts, and recorded a goal in the squad’s 2-0 victory over Atlanta on September 30.
“All in all the team’s done really well, everyone’s bought in,” Parker said. “We know what we’re good at and we’re able to use that to make team’s uncomfortable.”
Prior to his time in MLS, Parker spent the 2013 summer playing for Brooklyn Italians SC of the NPSL, making 13 appearances for the club. That experience was a perfect one for Parker to improve before his college seasons at St. John’s University.
“The opportunity to play for Brooklyn was big,” Parker said. “I knew Brooklyn was a good situation and they were very friendly and knew what I needed to get out of the summer, and they got me ready for the college season.”
Even prior to his time with the Brooklyn Italians, Parker had worked with Brooklyn Italians Head Coach Dominic Casciato. Casciato notes that even further past Parker’s physical prowess, the center back’s willingness to get better is his top quality.
“I think most people can recognize his physical attributes and what he does on the field,” Casciato said. “But what people don’t see is his dedication to getting better – his success isn’t an accident.”
In January of 2016, the U.S. National Team took notice of Parker’s success, and he was called into camp for the first time. Parker received another call-up, but he received his first chance to see the pitch as a member of the squad in June of 2018, where he shined.
Parker started both friendlies for the USMNT in June of 2018 against Ireland and France. Parker’s debut came against Ireland, where he delivered a solid performance after some early jitters. The match-up against France, however, was Parker’s real explosion onto the scene. Not only did Parker play the full 90 minutes against the eventual world champions, he won every individual match-up on the way to holding France’s explosive attack to just one goal.
“It was really cool,” Parker said. “For us, it was a no-lose situation, we fielded a young roster and it was their send-off game before the World Cup, I wanted to just go out and take care of business, do my job and I think I did a decent job of that.”
Parker was left out of the October USMNT squad, but that doesn’t deter Parker from working hard to become the best player he can be.
“It’s one of those things where whatever happens, happens,” Parker said. “Obviously the national team is the goal and every American player wants to be called in every time, but for me, playing well for my club and playing well for myself is a goal I always have, I want to show well every time I play. If the national team sees that and decides to call me, great, if not, I know that I just have to keep working hard to show it.”
Photo Credit: Ben Solomon/New York Red Bulls