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Union trade Jeff Parke to DC for Ethan White and top allocation spot

Photo: White defends against Conor Casey at PPL Park in August. Photo by Paul Rudderow

The Union announced on Tuesday morning the trade of Jeff Parke and the No. 6 spot in the allocation order to DC United in exchange for central defender Ethan White and the top allocation spot.

In expressing his gratitude to the Union and its fans, Parke said, “For reasons that I can only describe as a personal matter, I am leaving my home town and this great club. This has been an extremely difficult decision for me, but I want to thank the Union fans, coaches, players and staff for helping make last year awesome while playing for my hometown club. My heart and home are in Philly and you have all been fantastic to me from day one.”

After thanking Parke for his service to the club, Union head coach John Hackworth said, “We think Ethan is a very talented defender and we are excited to add him to our squad. Additionally, having the number one ranking in the MLS allocation ranking is a great opportunity for us to improve our roster.”

Speculation is already underway about what the kind of opportunity having the top allocation spot will mean to the Union with reports suggesting the team is pursuing US international Maurice Edu, who is looking for an exit from Premier League side Stoke City. It should be noted that Edu has worked with the Union coaching staff in the past, with Hackworth through the US National Team and assistant coach Rob Vartughian at the University of Maryland.

The 23-year-old Ethan White joined MLS in 2010 after signing with DC as a Homegrown Player in 2010. In 2013, White had 14 starts for 1,099 minutes of league play and also started in the US Open Cup final win against Real Slat Lake. Before turning pro, White played his college soccer at the University of Maryland, where he was a teammate of Zac MacMath and Matt Kassel. He also has experience as a US Youth international, winning the 2010 Milk Cup with the US U-20 team along with MacMath.


  1. I wish Jeff the best.
    Except when he plays the Union.

  2. Imagine if DC ends up starting Parke and Boswell together…that is one slow pairing.

  3. I just checked out Ethan White’s Wikipedia page and it already has him with the Union! He’s listed at 6 feet so only and inch shorter than Parke. Any idea on how fast he is? In any case, the Union continue to defy Father Time and keep getting younger.

  4. Parke’s line about “a personal matter” worries me a bit. I hope it wasn’t a personal problem with the club’s direction/decisions. Our thin back line may have just gotten a little thinner. Anyone have anything on White?

  5. Wilkerson McLaser says:

    I wonder how true/realistic the Maurice Edu rumors are. That would be an interesting acquisition — a solid DM with the ability to get forward and versatile enough to play CB.
    I wish we could get someone like Mix Diskerud, though. That’s the kind of guy we need. Carroll would probably thrive paired with him, where he could play as a pure no 6.

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    Not overly mad at the Parke’s move. He was solid but slow. Hope White is not a Cruz like player and can develop into something.

  7. Yes Parke wasn’t amazing, but he was extremely steady, veteran, smart, local and a good teammate. I mean honestly, how often does anyone remember him really playing awful. One thing Jeff Parke is… expensive. Unless this move leads to a massive signing, like Diskerud, it’s horrible. Not even Edu would make sense with this move. This has the smell of the FO clearing money to pay for Maidana and Nogueira.
    Waiting to see the end result after the draft, but right now they are making me feel worse, not better.

    • Wilkerson McLaser says:


    • Wilkerson McLaser says:

      Thing is, Parke wasn’t flashy (and even a little wobbly at first), but he became a reliable, solid contributor and a good partner to Okugo. He’s the kind of guy that won’t light up the stat sheets necessarily, but provided steady coverage and veteran leadership to a very young team. These were the qualities that got him called up the USMNT.
      The fact that he is leaving his hometown, which is what supposedly motivated his move from Seattle, unless he’s getting a divorce or something, suggests that this isn’t a family issue. I’m 90% sure there was a disagreement with Hack or someone in the FO and he decided he’d had enough.

    • Until I read this article, I was under the impression that the Union had traded the #6 pick in the Superdraft instead of #6 in the allocation order. So from that perspective, I’m now thrilled with the trade. It’s all in how you (mistakenly) look at things I guess…

  8. FO: “Jeff, we are bringing in some expensive players that we hope bring talent with them. We need you to take a pay cut.”

    Jeff: “No thank you. I’m worth what I’m being paid. It’s insulting to play for less than I think I’m worth.”

    FO: “Sounds like you have a personal issue here. You’re on the next bus to DC.”

  9. Deeply disappointed! They should have thrown in that schumk Brian Carroll. Why is he still on our team???????

    • Can you list specifically the reasons you don’t like Brian Carroll? I’m curious why’s there so much hate for him.

      • It’s because some people don’t understand what a holding/defensive midfielder does.

      • Ok, that’s what I thought. Brian Carroll looks the same now as he did when Columbus was winning the Supporter’s Shield, albeit maybe a tad slower. He has always been a guy that cuts down passing lanes and gets rid of the ball quickly. He’s never been a dribbler, or a playmaker or a guy that provides service. He should get some credit for all those shutouts, it’s not like his fellow midfielders were playing defense.

      • Wilkerson McLaser says:

        Though if we do get Edu, it doesn’t make much sense to keep Carroll. Carroll is no box to box, this is undisputed. Edu can get forward, but he is also definitely not an attacker, either. Unless we had a creative CAM in front of them (Cruz Azul has this young guy, Michael Farfan, who might be worth a look!), the result isn’t a bossy midfield — just a sluggish one.

      • Maybe, George, it’s more that people expect more from a “holding/defensive” midfielder in 2013. Guys like Shalrie Joseph (in his prime) and Osvaldo Alonso are the prototype for the modern D-mid, guys that can protect the back four AND get involved in the attack. I’d be happy if Carroll could just consistently pass the ball forward without it being a hopeful punt upfield or a turnover!
        Brian, you know who “cuts down passing lanes and gets rid of the ball quickly”? A centerback. Last I checked, Hack already deploys two players at that position; do we really need a third to ugly up the game and stay competitive in a parity-driven league?

      • I wasn’t arguing for keeping Carroll. I agree if we get Edu then we can part with Carroll, although Edu is between Carroll and a true CAM. I just don’t understand why BC gets bashed so much, the midfield around him was completely dysfunctional. At the same time he is the captain, so he should get some blame. I just felt, personally, he wasn’t as bad as many fans would lead you to believe.

  10. giving up an old jeff parke for a young mo edu is a good trade. no question. people forget that edu had some very strong performances with the US at both CDM and CB (see Mexico). while i’m still extremely disappointed about losing farfan, i think this would be a great move. curious to see if we can get another CB so edu can play cdm.

  11. MLS acquisition rules are always cloudy but I thought that if a player was coming to MLS as a DP then allocation is not needed. Look at Dempsey last year because he didn’t go through the Allocation process because he was being brought in as a DP. So if the U get Edu and he is a DP (likely) shouldnt that keep the Union at the top of the allocation order? Or is Dempsey to Seattle special and thus the rules were bent?

    • Wilkerson McLaser says:

      *Would* Edu be a DP? CDMs don’t usually get DP slots. MB90 is often described as a DM, but he’s really more of a box-to-box. Not sure Edu is worth DP money, at least not in Philly.

    • Apparently there’s a new little caveat to the DP rule which states (I’m paraphrasing) that if the league doesn’t contribute to the player’s transfer fee (i.e. Dempsey and Bradley) then he still has to go through the allocation process. So, we presumably get a DP in Edu, and burn the top allocation spot we just received from DCU.
      I definitely feel like DCU is on the losing side of this deal. Nice to be on the other side, for once.

    • Rule #1: There are no rules.

    • Wilkerson McLaser says:

      Is he worth DP money on the open market? Sure, I guess. But for Philly? Defense is the one area that we don’t seem to be having a problem with, thankfully. If anything, we have had a surfeit of defense-minded midfield players. If we acquire an attacker along with Edu I guess that makes sense, but paired with another CDM like Carroll makes very little sense.

      • If they’re not dropping Carroll here then my guess is a Bob Bradley/SAF Man Utd 4-4-2 with 2 Dmids And your creative guys are on the outside. Both the french dude and Argentine dude seem to fit the mold of Outside Att Mid…just a’s still Hack. But at least they have the needle moving.

  12. Wilkerson McLaser says:

    PSP, please write an article about how the U should use its top allocation spot to lure Mix Diskerud. I think he’s still out of contract with Rosenborg.

  13. That’s a bit unexpected

  14. LOL New rumors . . . MLS balking at Edu’s salary may nix move and/or he may head to Turkey for better financial incentives. It’s sooo Union!

  15. So now DC is more likely to draft Dean or Mullins since they’re pretty set at CB. That leaves the Union to pick Birnbaum. Which would be good.

  16. WilkersonMcLaser says:

    OK, so this Brotherly Game scoop definitely makes things interesting: Looks like Mo Edu may not be coming after all.

    No, we shouldn’t be paying $1.2 million for a player that we don’t obviously need. But neither do I like that MLS is telling us who is and isn’t “worth it.” I hate the idea that MLS is a two-speed league by our own cheapness, but it’s worse if it’s by design up top.

    • Agree. This seems to be a real bad precedent for the league to set.

    • I do not like the Union offering Edu a $1.2MM salary. Cheaper alternatives can be had for his position and that money spent on other needs.

      However, I like less MLS telling the Union they cannot offer that salary to the player. I understand the impact this would have on the salary structure across the league at this position, but I also do not believe MLS was not in the dark on the salary offer, or at least the range, prior to the trade this morning. All contracts are controlled by the league under single-entity, so the Union’s offer could not have been news to MLS.

      In this case, 2 clubs have been impacted. Union made the Parke trade expecting to need the #1 allocation spot to sign Edu, and traded a starter at a position they were already thin at. DC traded a valuable chip that could have been dealt to another club (Seattle for their interest in Pappa?)with possibly a better return. Both clubs are impacted, and not in a good way.

      • WilkersonMcLaser says:

        Also, the idea that Edu’s salary distorts the MLS market is absolutely ludicrous on its face with the entry of Dempsey and Bradley, not to mention the Rafa Marquezes and Mistas of the world.

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