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Whitecaps ink MLS defender Parke

Vancouver Whitecaps News Release - www.whitecapsfc.com

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

VANCOUVER, BC -- Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the signing of defender Jeff Parke. Parke has agreed to a one-year contract, pending international clearance.

Parke was set to join Seattle after expansion draft (Getty Images)"This is a great opportunity," said Parke, "I'm excited and thankful about this next challenge that has been presented to me by the Whitecaps. It's an exciting new chapter in my life. I'm going to work hard and hopefully, the team does well and good things come out of this."

Parke, 27-years-old, joins the Whitecaps after spending a half-decade as the starting centre back with New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS). During his first two years in New York, the team were then known as the MetroStars. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound defender joined New York after being the last pick of the 2004 MLS SuperDraft (60th overall) by the MetroStars. Over the next five seasons, Parke played 138 regular season and playoff matches, making 132 starts, for 11,623 minutes of action. In that time, he scored one goal and added two assists.

Parke had a brief training spell in March with Seattle Sounders FC of MLS following his third round selection by Seattle in the MLS Expansion Draft last fall.

Born in Abington, Pennsylvania, but was raised in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Parke played collegiate soccer at Drexel University in Philadelphia from 2000 to 2003. In his freshman year with the Dragons, he was named to the America East All-Conference First Team and All-Rookie Team. In his senior year, Parke received the Donald Yonker MVP Award.

Whitecaps 2009 season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets include all men’s and women's team regular season and playoff home matches at Swangard Stadium, Nutrilite Canadian Championship home matches against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact. For more information on the 2009 season ticket packages, call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or visit whitecapsfc.com.

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