The New York Red Bulls have agreed to terms with Tim Parker, signing the standout centerback to a three-year deal which will make him one of Major League Soccer’s highest paid defenders, a source familiar with the negotiation told Pro Soccer USA.
The deal, which was reached Tuesday afternoon, will see Parker paid in the neighborhood of $700,000 in the first year and up to around $800,000 at the end, a source said. The club paid part of the salary down with allocation money.
The news was first reported by Goal.com‘s Ives Galarcep.
Parker, who was out of contact at season’s end, made $115,935 in the final year of his previous deal, according to the MLS Players Association annual salary guide.
The powerful and athletic 25-year-old from Hicksville, NY had a breakthrough first season with the Red Bulls after arriving in a preseason trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps after spending his first three professional seasons in the Pacific Northwest.
He made 29 starts during the regular season, scoring one goal and setting up two others and also started all four of the Red Bulls playoff games, adding a goal in the second leg of the Eastern Conference finals against Atlanta United.
Partnering with Aaron Long, who was named MLS Defender of the Year, Parker anchored a defense that conceded the fewest goals (33) in a regular season that saw the Red Bulls set an MLS record for points (71) en route to winning a third Supporters’ Shield title in six years.
Parker also made his first appearances with the US men’s national team, coming off the bench against Ireland in Dublin and earning a start in a 1-1 draw with eventual World Cup champion France in Lyon.
In the club’s end-of-season media availability, Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett called signing Parker to a new deal a top priority.
“When we made the trade for Tim, we knew he was an important piece. And I think he’s come in and helped us in an amazing way in terms of his leadership,” Hamlett said. “I think with him and Aaron, probably the best center back combo [in the league]. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure we retain Tim here. We’ve got ongoing negotiations with him. We feel that hopefully we can get something taken care of.”