‘Old School’ Tim Parker Relishes Challenges in Red Bulls Debut

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MONTERREY, MEXICO - MARCH 14: Andre Gignac of Tigres (R) fights for the ball with Tim Parker of Vancouver Whitecaps (L) during the semifinals first leg match between Tigres UANL and Vancouver Whitecaps as part of the CONCACAF Champions League 2017 at Universitario Stadium on March 14, 2017 in Monterrey, Mexico. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/LatinContent/Getty Images)

East Hanover, NJ (March 8, 2018) – Tim Parker’s New York Red Bulls debut is the stuff of legend. Parker only had an hour of training with his new teammates before stepping onto the field against Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League. The challenge, however, was welcomed with open arms. “It’s always difficult walking into a room meeting a bunch of new guys hoping you can gel into that system right away,” the young defender said. “To be honest, those kinds of situations are great. You want to be a part of those games. Maybe being on the sidelines for that game would have hurt me a little bit.”

Tim Parker Makes Red Bulls Debut

Once the transaction was finalized, head coach Jesse Marsch was already leaning towards starting his new acquisition. With Aurelien Collin in New York to get his green card, the choice was obvious. Parker kept his game simple and was prepared for the match as best he could.  “The day before the match, we had a big video discussion with him to kind of explain what our tactics are about.,” coach Marsch said. “We believe Tim fits our philosophy perfectly. We have to refine his instincts a little bit. He’ll get better and better. It’s only up from here.”

The type of match suited Parker’s natural instincts. While Xolos pinged balls over the top, Aaron Long and Parker won the aerial duels they needed to and played a game that suited Parker to the core.  “I’m an old-school defender. It’s easy to be pretty on the ball but not everyone wants to get stuck in tackles and block shots and do the intangibles. I really enjoy that aspect of it all.”

Parker grew up in the New York Metro area and was drafted by Vancouver, sending him to the farthest point in the league. The defender’s family and friends would circle the date when they would see Parker play. Now that he’s returned, he feels at home. With the Red Bulls’ home opener coming up this weekend, he gets to connect with those closest to him more often. “I’m excited. My family and friends are excited to have me here for all games. It’s special that I get to be here every weekend.” 

Adjusting to a new team is always a challenge, however, it’s easier when the club atmosphere matches your personality. With the shift away from an older core, Parker felt the energy Marsch, and his team exudes ion everything they do. “Everyone is thirsty,” the defender said of the atmosphere. “It’s fun to be part of a squad that’s energetic and wants to get after it for 90 minutes.”

Naturally, giving up a player of Felipe’s caliber and experience comes with a particular set of expectations. Marsch has high hopes for his new young centerback. “We felt like we needed to bolster the back line and pick up another piece that would be a major rock to build a foundation on. We feel like Tim provides exactly that.”

The New York Red Bulls open MLS competition Saturday, March 10th at 7 pm, facing the Portland Timbers at Red Bull Arena.

 

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