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January 28, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Stuck in Parke

And nothing is moving forward. In fact, Sounders FC’s chances of signing defender Jeff Parke, whom it selected in the expansion draft from the New York Red Bulls, greatly decreased Wednesday.

Parke’s agents informed the club that Parke has a trip to Belgium planned, where he will try out with two clubs. Though Sounders FC controls Parke’s MLS rights, he is not under contract with the league and is therefore free to sign anywhere outside of MLS.

Here’s what GM Adrian Hanauer said today in a statement from the team:

“We think Jeff is a tremendous player, and that’s why we were willing to risk selecting him in the expansion draft. We will continue to keep in close contact. We continue to hold his MLS rights and we’re hopeful that he will some day play for Seattle Sounders FC.”

Parke would have had to finish his 10-game suspension for violating the MLS substance abuse policy at the beginning of this season and hasn’t reported to the team for training. Seattle traded for D Patrick Ianni earlier this week, a sign that it didn’t feel certain Parke would sign with Sounders FC.

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