With last night’s scoreless draw at Red Bull Arena, the New York Red Bulls showed their ability to keep a clean sheet. Center backs Aaron Long and Tim Parker controlled the final third yet again. While outside backs Kemar Lawrence and Michael Amir Murillo were able to keep the ball going forward, Long and Parker worked together to protect the goal.
Tim Parker, Aaron Long: A Reliable Center Back Pairing for the New York Red Bulls
Aaron Long grew up in Oak Hill in southern California. He attended the University of California at Riverside and played four years of college soccer. His junior and senior years were also spent with Premier Development League team FC Tucson before he was drafted by the Portland Timbers. He traveled cross-country to join Red Bulls II in 2016. Long made his first-team debut in the 2016 CONCACAF Champions League. He has proven himself a consistent and powerful defender while already scoring a goal this season. Long has made himself at home in the New York Metro.
Tim Parker grew up in Nassau County on New York’s Long Island. After four years at St. John University, Parker embarked on his career on the other side of the continent with the Vancouver Whitecaps. A trade just days before the Red Bulls’ run in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League saw Parker on the field for the New York team. RBNY coach Jesse Marsch commented on Parker’s acclamation: “[T]he transition of him to our team from a mentality and tactic and style of play has been literally seamless.” Parker hoped to enjoy the leadership role he had in western Canada back at home in New York. He is one of 12 players on the official first team roster to hail from the Tri-State area.
Long and Parker have started nine games together this year. Both have had to prove themselves in the mix of the Red Bulls defensive squad upon their arrival. Following the match against the Union, Parker reveled in his connection with Long. “It’s growing. Obviously it’s something we’re really excited about.” Their style of play is complementary to each other and poses a threat to attackers. “We’re getting the hang of playing with one another and we’re really looking forward to continuing to build this partnership into something big.”