Tim Parker played with Connor Lade at St. John’s University. (Photo courtesy of MLS)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

Tim Parker is coming home.

The Red Bulls obtained the Hicksville, N.Y. native and center back from Vancouver Whitecaps FC for midfielder Felipe, $500,000 in Targeted Allocation Money over two years and an international roster spot for this MLS season.

As part of the deal, Whitecaps FC will retain a percentage of any future transfer fee if Parker is transferred outside of Major League Soccer.

Speculation ran wild about the deal during the Red Bulls’ 2-0 win over Olimpia in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 after Felipe did not dress for the game.

“Tim is an established MLS talent with a lot of the qualities we look for in our defenders,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said. “When we started to evaluate options to bring in a center back, Tim was the ideal candidate for us because of his physical tools, understanding of the game, and presence on the field. We are pleased to get him here and look forward to getting him on the field.”

A former standout at St. John’s University — he was a teammate of Red Bulls midfielder-defender Connor Lade — the 24-year-old Parker has played for the U.S. Under-23 team that failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Still, his resume and reputation in the league is quite impressive.

Selected by Vancouver as the 13th overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, the 6-2, 195-lb. Parker led the Whitecaps in minutes, touches and successful passes last season.

“As always, this decision was made in the best interest of our club in the short, medium, and long term,” said Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson, a former Red Bull. “We are thankful to Tim for his contributions over the last three seasons and wish him well moving forward.”

Felipe, one of the first players Marsch brought in when he took over the Red Bulls’ coaching reins in 2015, has been a vital performer as a holding midfielder. He teamed with former team captain Dax McCarty to help New York capture the Supporters Shield title that year.

“Felipe has been a big part of our team for the last three seasons,” Marsch said. “His dedication to this team and club was at the highest level every day. I personally owe him so much for his commitment to this team. Here at Red Bull, we all wish him and his family great success in the future.”

In two Twitter posts, Felipe looked back at his Red Bulls career and forward to his new challenge.

“It’s been a good ride guys,” he wrote. “What you all gave to me will never be forgot. My time here [came] to an end, but I have the conscience that since day one until my last day I gave it all. I put all had in to it. Players come and go, but the team will always remain.”

Felipe then thanked team equipment managers Fernando and Sean Ruiz and general manager Marc de Grandpre.

And then he looked ahead.

“Very happy to be part of such a great organization,” he wrote. “Thanks for this opportunity. Back to Canada where my first son was born, where my journey in MLS started. With my heart I will bring everything I have every day will try my best and give all I can for the team. My family and I can’t wait to get there.

“Like everything I do the goal is only one — win. Be sure I’m very motivated and confident we can do great things together. See you guys very soon.”

Felipe has played and started in 100 MLS regular-season matches. He has only missed two games over a three-year span, playing in 8,781 of a possible 9,180 minutes. He recorded 10 goals and 17 assists.

The Red Bulls will send the Whitecaps $225,000 of TAM for 2018, and $275,000 of TAM for 2019.