New York Red Bulls: Why trading Felipe for Tim Parker makes sense

HARRISON, NJ - OCTOBER 07: Captain Tim Parker
HARRISON, NJ - OCTOBER 07: Captain Tim Parker /

New York Red Bulls completed a deal with Vancouver Whitecaps for a quality starting defender and added depth at center back which the club desperately needed.

Kristian Dyer of Metro NY, broke the story today on the trade of Vancouver Whitecaps‘ Tim Parker for New York Red Bulls‘ Felipe. Later on Sam Stejskal reported, Vancouver will receive Felipe, $225,000 in 2018 TAM, $275,000 in 2019 TAM and a 2018 international spot. Red Bull will receive Tim Parker in the deal.

Once again, the New York Red Bulls have shown that no matter your talent or service for the team, your place is never guaranteed. Felipe came to New York with Jesse Marsch from Montreal Impact in 2015 and became a staple in New York’s midfield for the past three years.

A pitbull and a headache to play against, Felipe gave the New York Red Bulls protection as well as a player capable of pulling the strings from a deep position.

In return, Red Bull receive a physically imposing center back with a high ceiling. Tim Parker is a native of Oyster Bay, New York who played his college ball at neighboring St. Johns University and is on his way home after reports claimed he was unhappy in Vancouver.

Reasons for the Trade

It wasn’t Felipe’s play on the field that pushed him out, but a variety of circumstances. This off-season saw Red Bull bring in Marc Rzatkowski and youngster Christian Casseres Jr. to add depth in the center of the field. The most glaring reason, perhaps, is the surge of Tyler Adams and Jesse Marsch’s belief in his abilities.

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Timing was a key factor as well, with Tyler Adams possibly one season away from a transfer out of MLS and Felipe’s value diminishing with age, Red Bull decided to ship the Brazilian.

But the biggest reason has to be Red Bull’s lack of depth at center back which has plagued the team and their chances at the MLS Cup for years. Tim Parker becomes a clear-cut starter for Red Bull.

Aurelien Collin is certainly a veteran with some quality, but has shown signs of a decline since his time at Sporting Kansas City. Not to mention, Aurelien Collin is 31 years of age and injury prone.

Tim Parker is a USMNT prospect and a rising star in MLS who will give the Red Bulls consistency in 2018. As an imposing center back, Parker will likely pair up with Aaron Long and use his physical abilities as a stopper, just like Collin.

Red Bull’s backline was missing depth and Tim Parker’s addition adds much-needed competition to the group. Fidel Escobar is now one slot down in the depth chart, and he will have to fight for minutes. Tommy Redding has not shown an immediate end product in preseason but many view him as a long-term project anyway.

Beneficiary’s of Trade

In New York Red Bull’s 2-0 win over Olimpia, Marc Rzatkowski looked impressive and a straight replacement for Felipe. Rzatkowski’s health has been a problem as of past seasons and he will be a key piece for the Red Bulls as long as he can stay injury free.

Sean Davis gets a boost in all of this too, and looks poised for a break out year. Davis got on the score sheet last night against Olimpia and is really coming into his own and an influx of minutes may be exactly what he needed. Time will tell whether Rzatkowski can truly replace Felipe, or if Sean Davis will get more time to shine, but the opportunity is there for both players.

Farewell Felipe

Salute to Felipe for his valiant service to the club over three years. It’s possible Felipe knew Red Bull’s 1-1 tie vs Olimpia was his last game and his fight stood out.

Post game Bradley Wright-Phillips touched on Felipe’s heart and passion,

"“The guy was quality when he was here. Even up to his last game, he gave 100% and you can’t fault the man. Good luck to him.”"

Next: Red Bulls 2018 Season Preview

Vancouver gets Felipe who has morphed into a different kind of player, from a #10 to #6 in his time New York. All in all, Vancouver is getting a guy full of fight, technical ability, and leadership qualities. Best of luck to Felipe in Vancouver.