What a year it’s been for Jeff Parke.
The veteran defender made his first appearance for the U.S. men’s national team back in January. He started all but two games for Sounders FC since the start of April and is likely going to repeat as the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.
On top of all that, his wife, Jennifer, is due with their first child later this month
So what now? Well, Parke’s contract is up. He was on the books for about $185,000 this past season and it’s decision time.
“We have (had talks),” he said not long ago. “We’re going to see what happens in the offseason. We’re going to see what we can do. Whatever it is, it is. I’ll let my agent and (general manager Adrian Hanauer) and all those guys talk.”
You might recall it took Parke a while to become a Sounder due to some off-and-on negotiations after being selected in the expansion draft before the 2009 season.
So does he have strong feelings about staying in Seattle, where he’s been a regular here the past two and a half seasons?
“It’s business,” Parke said. “I understand that. It’s part of the game and I’ve been around long enough to see how the league goes and how the teams are. This is a great team, and that’s what I want to be a part of, but at the end of the day, it’s about my family, their organization and what we can do.”
You might remember Parke had some frustrations regarding playing time earlier this year — seemingly a long time ago. More recently, coach Sigi Schmid said Parke was playing the best soccer of his career after the team’s playoff triumph over Real Salt Lake.
In what could be an interesting offseason, this will definitely be one issue to watch.