Parke Place: Homegrown star shining for Union

Philadelphia Union v Columbus Crew
Parke, a Union defender, grew up in Abington and played college soccer at Drexel.

 

Sometimes, it makes all the difference in a player’s career when he is able to come back home.

Some associate home as the franchise which they made a name for themselves. For example, the Union made a trade in the offseason for Sebastien Le Toux after he had thrived here in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Other times, coming home is exactly that, returning to the place where you started. In this case, look no further than Abington native Jeff Parke, who was traded in December to the Union for a 2013 Supplemental Draft selection.

Parke played his college soccer at Drexel before being drafted in the 2004 MLS draft, along with Clint Dempsey and Freddy Adu.
Nine years later, he’s back in Philly and making his presence felt.

“It’s coming back in full circle for me,” said Parke. “It’s really awesome, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s not that easy for a team to make a trade. You have to be playing well and be respected in the league. It was a situation where the Union needed me and I’m very thankful for it. It’s one of the better things that’s happened in my career.”

It’s one of the better things that’s happened for the Union, as they sit at 3-2-2 and just beat D.C. United on the road, 3-2, Sunday for the first time in team history. Parke’s happy to call Philly his home again and hopes to instill his wisdom in the youth of the team.

“There’s a lot of younger guys on defense so I do my part to kind of steer the ship and show those guys the ropes a little bit. Guy’s have done a great job at welcoming me in and making me feel like part of the group and letting me do my part. It’s been a great couple months here and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The Union will next head up to New England to face the Revolution on Saturday at Gilette Stadium. The game airs at 7:30 p.m. on the Comcast Network.

 

Jack’s attack on MLS scoring title

 

Jack McInerney moved up to No. 1 in the MLS in scoring.

With two goals netted this past Sunday, the Union forward is now first in the MLS in scoring. McInerney has six goals through just seven games this season, when he netted just eight through 25 games last season. The closest a Union player has come to leading the MLS in goals for a season was Le Toux who finished with 14 in 2010.



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