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Official: New York Red Bulls announce Tim Parker signing

New York Red Bulls defender Tim Parker (26) plays the ball while defended by Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Saucedo (23) during the first half at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Rob Gray/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Red Bulls officially announced the re-signing of standout defender Tim Parker to a multi-year MLS contract using Targeted Allocation Money, the club announced Wednesday.

Although the Red Bulls did not disclose specifics of the new contract, Pro Soccer USA reported Tuesday night the deal is for three years and will make the 25-year-old one of Major League Soccer’s highest paid defenders.

“Growing up in New York, it was always a dream of mine to be able to play professionally in front of my family and friends,” Parker said in a statement. “I’m very thankful to the coaching staff, Denis and the club for allowing me to continue doing so. I will continue to work hard for the club so we can strive for more success and ultimately the MLS Cup. Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way, I’m looking forward to getting to work.”

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.

“We knew when we acquired Tim that he would be a big piece of our team,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said. “Signing him beyond this year was always part of our plan, and we are excited to get this done. Tim is one of the top center backs in MLS and we look forward to continued success in the years to come.”

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 Hicksville, NY native had a breakthrough first season with the Red Bulls after arriving in a preseason trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps. He joined the club in Tijuana and helped lead the Red Bulls to a historic 2-0 victory over Xolos in the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals.

Parker appeared in 38 games across all competitions. He made 29 starts during the regular season, scoring one goal and setting up two others, while anchoring 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, who also made his debut with the US men’s national team, started all four of the Red Bulls playoff games, adding a goal in the second leg of the Eastern Conference finals against Atlanta United.

“Having known Tim for a long time, I’m thrilled for him to be a Red Bull for years to come,” Red Bulls coach Chris Armas said. “I’m equally excited for our team and organization that we have solidified the middle of our defense. It’s clear that Tim changed our backline this season and was a big part of us being the best defensive team in the league.”

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