After spending his first three years as a professional soccer player with the Vancouver White Caps FC, Major League Soccer (MLS) star Tim Parker has returned to his home state of New York to play for the New York Red Bulls.
In Parker’s soccer career prior to the MLS, he was quite the prospect. During his high school career at Hicksville High School, he was a two-time captain, awarded Gatorade New York Boy’s Soccer Player of the Year, Nassau County Player of the Year and Newsday’s Player of the Year. His college career at St. John’s University was very good as well, earning him a 13th overall draft pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
Parker was traded to the Red Bulls on March 2, for Felipe Campanholi Martins. Prior to being traded to the Red Bulls, in 2017, Parker showed a strong performance with the Vancouver Whitecaps, being ranked second overall in the MLS with 86 headed clearances and leading the team in total minutes played during the season, totaling 2,880 minutes. Parker was also awarded the 2017 WFC Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero award by leading his former team in many categories including player of the month twice.
Since leaving Vancouver, Parker has noticed a significant difference between his old team versus his current team.
“I learned a lot of things in Vancouver, and coming here [to the Red Bulls] they play a completely different system. In Vancouver, it was more sit-back on defense, meaning you let the ball come to you and you don’t press as much on defense. While on the Red Bulls, it’s much more of a high-pressure system, so we put a lot of pressure on the back line, which has made me a better player,” Parker said.
Even though Parker enjoyed his time in Vancouver, he is still glad to be back home in New York.
“[Vancouver] was a great city to live in; I made a lot of friends up there,” Parker said. “It feels great, I was away for a little bit, but I had to get away—I was in New York my entire life. I needed to get out and grow, but it’s great, I found a really good situation here with the Red Bulls and I’m really pleased with how the season is going and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Usually when players are successful, they tend to have pregame rituals, but Parker does not do anything in particular.
“I try to keep it pretty simple in terms of just eating healthy, getting a good sleep the night before and drinking a lot of water. I usually like to take a long walk before games. But other than that, just stretch out my legs and not over-exert myself,” Parker said.
Since joining the Red Bulls, Parker has already accumulated more than 1,100 minutes played and one assist.