Former Sounders central defender Jeff Parke met with local media by conference call today, in advance in his first game facing Seattle since his trade to Philadelphia. There was no bulletin board material, as Parke spoke warmly of his time in Seattle and grateful that the Sounders traded him back home to play out the final few seasons of his career.
Here’s some of what Parke had to say, and I’ll add more later:
On facing the Sounders: It’s always a bit of a challenge to play your old team. When I was in Seattle and I played against New York it was a strange feeling. You come out with a different kind of energy. You know the team, obviously, but you want to get a win so you can walk away and having bragging rights for a while. … It’s definitely a different game.
On the trade from the Sounders: I was grateful to be sent home. It was something that we had in the works: At the end of the season there, once the season was over I expressed how family was first and how I wanted to be back in Philly and to be home with them. It was something that I have another four years maybe left in my career and I always wanted to play in Philly and end my career. Seattle was a great place. Family came first and that’s how I organized it, and that’s how I asked for it to happen, and Seattle was very accommodating and made that happen for me.
Here’s some of what general manager Adrian Hanauer had to say about that:
“We never want to lose a good player from the organization, but I think I said it back then: Sometimes family trumps soccer. In this case there were enough issues and we’d have enough conversations where I felt the right thing to do was to try and work this out with Philadelphia. And in the end we think it was a fair deal. As you guys know, we had salary cap issues as well, so something was going to have to give in terms of working our salary cap. So, we didn’t like losing Jeff, but I think it ended up working out.”
And now back to Parke:
On scouting the Sounders: When we prepare all week they’re going to be talking about how can we prepare for them and I’ve been around them for three years and know the team quite well, and there will be some questions asked and some things that I’ll have to point out and some areas where I’ll be able to help out in a way. But they’re a different group this year. Their backs are against the wall a little bit, so it’s going to be a different feel and a different team a little bit. But at the end of the day it’s another game, and we’re at home and we want to get three points.