Tag Archive | "Jeff Parke"

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Sounders Slump, Drop 3 Points to Montreal in Seattle

Posted on 03 March 2013 by Kyle Alm

In a much anticipated opener after the departure of defensive stalwart Jeff Parke, Fredy Montero and fellow Designated Player Christian Tiffert there were a lot of missing faces that have become familiar to the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field. In addition to the afforementioned players, Sounders were also missing Marc Burch & Osvaldo Alonso to suspension and David Estrada to injury.

Montreal Impact came into Seattle with a few new faces of their own. New coach Marco Schallibaum was brought in to build on the team’s moderate success in it’s inaugural MLS season. Impact have a few familiar faces as well: Alessandro Nesta, Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins, and goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

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Montreal won a sum total of two road matches in 2012, they were able to reach half of that total tonight and got their 2013 season off to a great start with 3 points on the road.

Arnaud, the Montreal Captain would score the deciding goal in the 35th minute of play on a counter-attack. Felipe Martins lead Davy Arnaud through a Sounders defense that Sigi Schmid described as, “sixes and sevens,” in his post-match press conference, with a chip that lead to another chip over Michael Gspurning’s outstretched hand from his position on the 6-yard box.

That goal would be the only one scored in this affair. Sounders were able to create chances and certainly seemed to have the better of play than the visiting side. Sounders were certainly unlucky in their defeat with Brad Evans hitting the post from nearly 30 yards & Eddie Johnson hitting the crossbar from about 7 yards.

DeAndre Yedlin, Sounders rookie and former academy player, started tonight in place of Adam Johansson as right back. If there were questions about the 19 year old handling the pressure of starting in the season opener in front of 40,000 fans, they were answered. Yedlin ate it up, he defended well, showed great speed getting up the line, and nearly got on the end of a cross from Mauro Rosales on a give-and-go that he started. One of the few bright spots for Sounders tonight.

Brad Evans was also impressive, he looked confident with his touch and nearly saved the match with his shot from distance. Evans has clearly benefited from being in with the US Men’s National Team in January.

For Sounders there are more questions and uncertainty about the team than ever. They are not used to losing at home, especially season openers. Fans have been waiting for a breakthrough, for possession, corner, shots on goal statistics to be transformed into wins and a Supporter’s Shield. Even Marco Schallibaum had to admit that his side was a little lucky that Evans or Johnson didn’t score, but that is part of soccer. Sometimes luck is on your side and other nights your shots bounce back on to the pitch.

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MLS Cup training session, Part II

Posted on 23 November 2008 by ASN Staff

Dave van den Bergh (center) shares some laughs with his teammates ©ASN/First Row Photos

The New York Red Bulls trained for the final time Saturday in preparation of their first MLS CUP Finals appearance. Unlike Friday’s training, which was held on the training field normally used by Chivas USA, the team got to use the main Home Depot Center field. The team continues to be confident and loose, less than 24 hours before the biggest game in franchise history. “We believe 100% that we have a chance,” said head coach Juan Carlos Osorio. “If we match them like we have during the season, we will have a chance to win.”

Osorio was understandably hesitant to disclose tactics or the identity of starters, but said the key is to “defend properly, take our chances…create enough entries into the attacking third that provide us with the chance to score goals.”

Angel addresses the media horde ©ASN/First Row Photos

Juan Pablo Angel gave a short press conference prior to taking the field. Angel said yesterday’s much-discussed training injury came on a collision with Danny Cepero. “It got me right in my ribs…I feel fine,” he said. “Just sore.” The former Colombian international once again assured the press he will be ready to go tomorrow. “I’ve been waiting for this game all year,” he said. “Whatever it takes for me to play, I won’t miss it.”

Angel said he is on board with Osorio’s style of defending first. “We might not play pretty but we’ve been getting the results we need in order for us to be here,” he said. The team is coming off a season that was traumatic even by its own standards; its brightest young star, Jozy Altidore left the team at mid-season, one of its designated players, Claudio Reyna, retired shortly thereafter and there was the late season drama with Jeff Parke and Jon Conway’s performance-enhancing drug suspensions (more on that below). “We faced a lot of different problems and different circumstances,” Angel said, in typical understated fashion. The turning point came in the first leg of the Houston series, he added. “We were happy that we matched the best team in this league…and we felt that if we went to Houston did the same that we had at home we had a good chance of getting a result.”

‘Jungle Warfare’

The identity of the banned over-the-counter substance allegedly taken by Parke and Conway was revealed at the Supporters Summit on Saturday morning. The substance, ‘Jungle Warfare,’ is sold by a company named ALR Industries and advertised as a way to produce the effects of steroids “without the negative side effects.” (Still think this was an honest mistake, Red Bulls fans?)

Angel spoke of the team’s reaction to the scandal in his press conference. “We were disappointed but we talked about it and the most important thing is the players accept their mistake and we fully support them,” he said of Parke and Conway. “That was a very tense week for us as a team and an organization but we had the most important game of the year that weekend.” The team ultimately won that game, against Columbus.

A sign of things to come? Or proof that the curse is alive and well?

Red Bulls fans hope these shirts don't end up in Africa

Home Depot Staff personnel picked a bad time (in between media sessions) to unload the pre-made “MLS Cup Champions” t-shirts that will be worn by the winning side of tomorrow’s game (the losing team’s shirts will be donated to charity). Which means that depending on the outcome of MLS Cup, these shirts could be worth a little or a lot on ebay.

With everything that has happened with their team over its 13 year history, Red Bulls fans can be forgiven for thinking the worst on this one…

View a full suite of photos from today’s practice, media conferences, Supporters’ Summit and more

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Parke speaks (kind of)

Posted on 18 October 2008 by ASN Staff

Red Bulls defender Jeff Parke, who was suspended and fined Thursday, Oct. 16 for violating Major League Soccer’s substance abuse policy, made a statement to members of the media before the team’s game with Columbus Saturday.

The statement, which was distributed by Red Bulls media, reads as follows:

To all of my family, teammates, coaches, friends and fans, I apologize for the events that have taken place that have led to this decision by Major League Soccer. I share their belief that there is no room for performance enhancing substances in sports. However, it is important for me to share with you that I was unaware of the fact that the supplement I took had any ingredients that would put me in the place that I am today. I do take full responsibility for what has happened and realize that I should have made sure by consulting with the appropriate team staff before taking the supplement. Purchasing and over the counter product at a nationally recognized retail chain ultimately led me to where I am today. I can only hope that this can be prevented in the future and be a learning experience for all players. Again, m apologies to my teammates, coaching staff Red Bull, family, friends and fans.

Jon Conway, the other player suspended this week, did not provide a statement and there is no word from Red Bull media that one is forthcoming.

A legitimate cause to make amends? Or sour grapes? Sound off below.

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A sad 'first' for New York

Posted on 17 October 2008 by ASN Staff

Jon Conway aka “Pants”

The New York/New Jersey Major League Soccer franchise has not accomplished much in its 13 seasons. Long known as the ugly stepchild of MLS, the MetroStars/Red Bulls have only once made it past the first round of the playoffs and only once won anything of note (the La Manga Cup, a Spanish winter tournament, in 2004). Other than that, the team has mainly been known as a case study in mismanagement, existing in a kind of purgatory at the vacuous confines of Giants Stadium.

Today, Oct. 16, 2008, the team finally made history. For the wrong reason. Two of its players became the first in the history of the league to receive suspensions for performance-enhancing drug use. Jon Conway, who has started every game at goalkeeper this season, and Jeff Parke, arguably the team’s best defender, each received 10-game suspensions for using banned performance enhancers androstatriendione (ATD) and boldenone metabolites. They were also fined 10% of their annual salary ($11,500 for Parke; $5,750 for Conway).

The players will be sorely missed on the field. Their absence in all likelihood dooms any chance the Red Bulls had for advancing past the first round of the playoffs–if they make the postseason at all. But that is besides the point. Other than a brief spell in August, the season has been a disappointment. The team didn’t look to be going anywhere, anyway.

Jeff Parke ©ASN/Fernando Rendon

What’s worse is the black eye suffered by a team that could ill afford it. The MetroStars/Red Bulls are finally known for something other than ineptitude. They are an embarrassment. Two of their starters have been exposed as cheaters (don’t believe some of the conspiracy theories being bandied about on the BigSoccer sewing circle and elsewhere; the Red Bulls have accepted the league’s decision without appeal and the suspensions followed what by all accounts sounds like a very thorough two month investigation of both players). It is the latest, saddest chapter for a franchise that is supposed to represent the country’s biggest market but which has been snakebitten almost from the word go.

Parke and Conway apparently claim they ingested an over-the-counter supplement that unknowingly contained a banned substance, according to Goal.com. Sure they did. If you believe Barry Bonds unknowingly took steroids and that Roger Clemens “misremembers” he did, this excuse might hold water for you. For most of us it’s nothing more than knee-jerk denial at best and an outright lie at worst. Red Bull, who gave that statement on the players’ behalf, should be ashamed for having done so. It’s too late to retract it now, obviously, but both players should be cut immediately.

The team should go a step further than that and institute its own drug testing policy on top of what the league mandates. MLS, for its part, probably needs to do more as well. Maybe not in terms of testing, but with outreach and education programs for players of all levels. Professional soccer in the U.S. can simply not afford a doping scandal. With the economy all but in recession and likely to stay there for a few years, MLS would probably not survive such a crisis. Though it would somehow be strangely appropriate that the whole thing started with this team…

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