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Parke speaks out (Part 2)

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So what is next for Jeff Parke? The veteran defender is in Seattle, where he will begin training with the Sounders while they negotiate a contract. Parke is just eager to get back on the field, which won't happen in an official MLS match until he signs and serves the remaining four games of his 10-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

"We're going back and forth," Parke said of his contract talks with Seattle. "There's a number they threw out with the league. At the end of the day you've got to start thinking of your family. I've been in the league for five years.

"I understand how it works and I understand what you've got to go through. I feel like I've paid my dues and I've done my time but obviously it doesn't help with the suspension. We'll figure it out hopefully in the next couple of days what's going to happen and what they're going to do."

Parke is in talks with Seattle after having trials in Belgium fall through, in part because of skepticism about his drug suspension. Despite having his try at Europe be fruitless, Parke doesn't regret his decision to pass on a contract offer from the Red Bulls in order to give Europe a try, a decision that led the Red Bulls to leave him exposed in the expansion draft and signal a sad ending to his time with the Red Bulls.

"They gave me a number and at the end of the day I didn't agree with it," Parke said of his final contract talks with New York. "That was that. I obviously had some hurt and some anger toward the club for how it was handled and how I was kind of just left by myself. I wish they had backed me a little bit more."

Parke also pointed to the timing of New York's contract offer with leading to the failure to reach an agreement with the Red Bulls.

"At the time it was difficult because they approached me the day before they needed to know if they were going to protect me or not," Parke said. "If you really wanted me you would have called me sooner."

Parke served the first six games of his suspension last season, a period that coincided with the Red Bulls surprising run to the MLS Cup final. Rather than take part in that magical run, Parke was not allowed to train with the team or be around the team. The only thing he could was watch the games on television and root his teammates on, even as it hurt him to watch.

"It was tough. I watched every game," Parke said. "The one game in Utah (vs. Real Salt Lake), I didn't have Fox Soccer Channel so I purchased it just to watch the game. I wanted to see what would happen, as much as I didn't want to watch because I was wishing more than anything that I could be there with the team, helping them win.

"I was glued to the television, watching every play," Parke said. "But at the end of the day, once that came you're on your own. You're by yourself and they're playing still. That's how it felt and that's what upset me a lot. It was like everything from the past five years was thrown away because of what happened."

Would Parke ever consider returning to play for New York? Parke left the door open, but acknowledged that there is still some lingering resentment toward his former club that has yet to fade with time.

"You don't ever want to close all doors or shut the door to a place," Parke said. "New York is a great place, and I liked playing with the guys, so I can't say that I wouldn't ever want to go back, but it's going to take some time for me to get over the whole situation and what happened."


  1. Tainted or not, PArke paid his dues with this team and played more matches than anyone other than Petke, at the very least he earned our benifit of the doubt here..its not like the man’s integrity was ever in question before..i think its sad so many NY fans want to paint him with the same hate brush they give a real cheat like A-Rod.

    It was an over the counter supplement called Jungle Fever…not human growth hormone.

    I would love to have him here, he is one of my favorite players to ever wear the kit here.

  2. Hopper-
    It seems the guy got caught with a substance that was tainted.

    That’s like you getting pulled over, getting a DUI because, someone put something in your drink when you went to the bathroom. Yeah, you probably shouldn’t have left your drink at the bar when you went to the bathroom, you know better than that. The fact remains that though you will get a DUI, the person who spiked your drink should also be held accountable.

    Sorry for calling you a jerk, that was uncalled for, but I have to stand by a player like Parke. His family had season tickets in my section. They seemed like good honest people, and though I have never had a conversation with Jeff Parke, I believe he is being truthful.

    The record must be rectified.


  3. Wow, I had no idea what a sensitive issue this is. Mikemike and The Guy, you guys need to seriously lighten up.

    The guy got caught, and he needs to accept the consequences and move on. Seattle clearly wants him on the team, but I question his commitment to the team until he finally decides to sign and get on board with the program. I don’t see how that’s unreasonable.

    He complains how this scandal has affected his career opportunities in Europe, but again, that’s his own doing. He has an opportunity staring him right in the face here in Seattle, but from what I take from his silence until now, is that he’s somehow above playing for the Sounders. If that’s the case, send him elsewhere. If he wants to play, then we’ll be happy to have him.

  4. Bootsy-
    You got a link, man? I don’t really go to bigsoccer too much and am having trouble finding it.
    I would appreciate it.

  5. Athority-
    I agree that Jeff Parke should have been suspended. Definitely. Your argument that no exceptions can be made is solid. I feel that MLS and RBNY should have approached matter differently.

    They should have said:

    “We believe that Jeff Parke received a tainted batch of supplement. We do not believe that Jeff Parke had the intention to cheat through performance enhancing drugs. That being said, the league has a mandatory minimum 10 match suspension for failed drugs tests. We cannot circumvent this rule due the the precedent it would set.

    MLS and RBNY has notified the FDA and GNC of the situation that we believe to be a bad batch of supplement.

    We look forward to welcoming Jeff Parke back into the league after his suspension.”

    I think that this sounds better for MLS, RBNY, Jeff Parke, John Conway, the fans, and is much closer to what I think everyone believes is the truth.

    MLS is a young league with a finite amount of fans. We, the fans, have the power to dictate how we expect the league to operate.

    I want a league that one can be proud of, not one that treats players like expendable profit makers.

    For this reason, I am not going to let this go.


  6. To all with sympathy for Parke,

    he’s nothing compared to this sob story.

    Guy was flying high as one of the best (only) Japanese strikers until he got a suspension for improper use of GARLIC, lost his place on the national team, lost his place on the club, missed a bunch of playing time, got out of form and was eventually traded.

    He won an appeal later but, well… too late. Watch out for how you use garlic kids.

  7. Has everyone seen the packaging for these materials? They were displayed and discussed in detail on BS at the time of the announcements/suspensions. Anyone who saw the packaging and says “it never would have occurred to me they might have banned substances inside” is either 1) so stupid they can’t write their name in the mud with a stick or 2) not being entirely honest.

    I don’t think Jeff Parke is stupid.

  8. He got caught… ok, fine. He is serving his suspension which he has to accept and from the looks of it, he’s taking it like a man. So, let’s move on, deal with his contract and get him on SSFC so we can see what he’s made of. If he’s as good as RB fans are letting out, then I am pumped to have him on my team. I believe in 2nd chances and if he screws up again… Well, that’s on him. I wish him all the best, whether on Sounders or any other team. Except for if he joins the Timbers… heh heh heh, I had to get that in there.

  9. Is that right athority? I do question why he would take something called “Jungle Warfare” to get an edge. I mean c’mon. Still at least he’s willing to say something other than “I’m not here to talk about the past”

  10. Mike,

    Here’s the fact. It doesn’t matter is the product is tainted or not. If you test positive, you get suspended. PERIOD, NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Once you make an exception, everyone gets an out.

    Athletes play dumb to gain public support. They are ALL told, check with the trainer before you take anything.

    The league actually supplies the players with supplements so you don’t have to buy over the counter stuff.

  11. JMR-
    I’m going to look into that loophole business. Let me know if you have any links. In my mind, it’s either a food or a drug. Both should have proper regulations.

    This Guy-
    I’ll do a little research into this tonight/tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted through SBI.

    Anyone else who is interested-
    Let me know if you can find any info you think is helpful. (i.e. FDA regulation info, acceptable batch variance…)

    My email is “mi kead ams 13 8 at yahoo dot com”
    Just take out the spaces.

    Word up,


  12. Just FYI regarding OTC supplements… They are not regulated by the FDA because of a legal loophole ((they do not claim to diagnose or treat any illnesses). Also, they frequently contain varying amounts of their ingredients and sometimes varying ingredients altogether. Testing another batch of the supplement may well turn up nothing. Sorry for the typos. I’m on my phone…

  13. Ives (and everyone else) –

    I agree that the RB trainer said that the drink was tainted. How about a little investigative journalism? I know you are busy, and the things almost done, but it sucks that Jeff Parke’s career is in the toilet over some false product claims.

    If the Jungle Warfare was tainted, I would put in some bills to buy a bottle and get it tested by a laboratory. Either the stuff has in it what Jeff failed for, and is mislabeled, or it doesn’t and the batch that Jeff got was bad. Anyone else in the SBI Mafia interested?

    At least the FDA has to be notified to investigate. Jeff Parke played his heart out for NY. Something in me feels like I have to do something.

    Who’s with me?


  14. britton you’re a complete douchebag, yea wow we played badly get over it we had no khano smith, no stammler, no celedas, no pacheco, and no johnson all of which would have been starting that night not to mention the fact that winning a game in that environment must be close to impossible with a full squad.
    The fact that you think Parke is a joke shows you’re a complete jackass, he is an honest professional which is very refreshing in a sports world filed with Arods and barry bond, yeah he made a mistake but he was man enough to admit it.

  15. I for one really hope he lands in Seattle that way he gets a fresh start in a new market with a new team. As a Sounder fan the idea of having CB pairing of Hurtado and Parke is fantastic.

  16. so your a pro athlete, knowing full well about all the hoopla there is in pro sports about performance enhancing drugs, and decide to take some “supplement” anyway without consulting a trainer. then you get caught, and claim the “supplement” was tainted. Not one word about maybe taking some legal action against the manufacturer . The RB’s then offer you a HUGE raise (as reported by ives) in the 150 range, and you decline. Then you go off to Europe, thinking no one will find out about your positive test. Rejected, you return and HOPE to sign a contract for what will be a very modest sum.

    Jeff Parke is a joke. The funniest part of it all is how after watching the debacle thursday night , RB fans are CLAMORING for his return LOL LOL LOL

  17. IVES; why do you treat him like he’s facing the music like a man?? Without ANY EVIDENCE of his claims of a ‘tainted product’ he is acting like a VICTIM, with a couple of ridiculous admissions of ‘oh I could have had my breakfast drink tested’… That’s not where he went wrong? Could anyone explain why the ‘tainted product’ company isn’t bankrupt from all the lawsuit he put on them? Or possibly why no other ‘tainted product’ athletes have appeared?? IVES it is not necessary to portray him as a big brave man just because he gives you an exclusive… that’s what it looks like anyway (and I’m a huge Ives fan)

  18. Jeff, please sign with Seattle. The team would be improved with you, and you know you will have a great year with this new team. As a Sounders fan, I’m interested in what happens when you’re on the pitch, not what happened in the past.

  19. I don’t think he’s being a pain. Up until last week he didn’t think he could even practice with the team till after his suspension was over. Now that that has changed, he’s going to be at the first practice he’s allowed to attend.

    I for one, welcome him into the fold.

  20. Uh Oh, watch out for the tough guy Sounder fan Hopper. His team is first in the West and they don’t have time to make their team better by negotiating with Parke.

  21. So is this dude gonna sign with the Sounders or what? They used a valuable expansion draft pick on him, but I get the impression he’s in no hurry to start playing in Seattle. If he’s gonna be a pain in the @$$, I say send him back to New York. Get in or get out.

  22. It seems a bit harsh if all he did was drink something from over the counter GNC. I know MLS players don’t make enough money for the serious designer steroids MLB players like Clemmons and Mcguire use. THis seems a bit ridiculous for over the counter to ruin a players career while MLB players seem to just get to keep playing. a bit lopsided.

  23. Yeah. I mean, when Red Bull mistakenly took those supplements and Parke was kind of pissed at them because then they left him high on dry for a solid Center Back in the playoff run… wait a minute. Scratch that. Reverse it.

    They need to kiss and make up. And bring him back to NY.

  24. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come back, we may actually have a good defense with parke in the middle, pacheco, and johnson on the sides and stammler and celedas at d mid. We can get rid of echeverry and pietrovallo and use that money to sign him because let’s face it they are completely useless. Parke just don’t forget even if the club never brings you back that the fans of this team will always be supporting you 100 percent.


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