New York Red Bulls central defender Tim Parker is seeking his first U.S. men’s national team cap and is one of four Major League Soccer players called in by coach Dave Sarachan for a pair of upcoming European international friendly matches.
Parker, who along with Aaron Long has anchored the Red Bulls’ defense, is joined by teammate Tyler Adams and Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen and midfielder Wil Trapp as part of a 25-man roster for the friendly matches. The U.S. first will play Saturday against Ireland at Aviva Stadium and then versus France at Groupama Stadium in Lyon June 9.
Parker, 25, was part of the USMNT January camp and was called into camp ahead of a friendly against New Zealand in October 2016, but he didn’t appear in the match.
“It’s something that not a lot of people can say they’ve done is represent their country,” Parker said. “For me, a goal of mine is just to get in there and try and do that.”
Adams, 19, is seeking his fourth consecutive appearances for the United States. He most recently played 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Paraguay on March 28, earning a penalty kick that Bobby Wood converted.
“I’m really, really excited,” Adams said. “It’s going to be fun being part of a young group, the rebuilding process under a good coaching staff and a lot of fun players. Obviously they got a good win against Bolivia the other night so it will be fun to go and play Ireland in Ireland, which is always a cool opportunity and then France in France will be really cool as well.”
The Red Bulls defensive depth will be tested over the next few weeks with both central defender Fidel Escobar and right back Michael Murillo part of Panama’s 35-man provisional roster ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
Veteran Aurelien Collin is the most likely replacement for Parker, while Connor Lade can play either fullback spot. Marc Rzatkowski could be the best candidate for a like-for-like move for Adams in the midfield.
The Red Bulls are also keeping a close eye on former Red Bull Academy product Matthew Olosunde, who came off the bench Monday in the United States’ 3-0 win over Bolivia at Talen Energy Stadium.
Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett watched the 20-year-old, who is on the books at Manchester United, at training in Philadelphia Friday and the Red Bulls head of scouting, Ben Ehresmann, took in the friendly at Talen Energy Stadium on Monday.