Felipe might be on the move in what might be one of the biggest blockbuster deals of what has certainly been a wacky MLS offseason.
Multiple sources are telling Metro that Felipe, a star midfielder for the New York Red Bulls, might soon be dealt along with allocation money to the Vancouver Whitecaps. In return, sources say that Tim Parker would be heading to Red Bull Arena should the deal be finalized.
A four-year starter at St. John’s, Parker has become one of the best center backs in MLS over his three years in the league. He has made 76 appearances with the first-team in Vancouver since being a first-round pick of the organization in 2015.
The move would cap an active offseason for the Red Bulls, who traded midfielder Sacha Kljestan in January, added Argentine midfielder Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra two weeks ago as well as naming goalkeeper Luis Robles as team captain within the past few days.
The addition of Parker helps nail down a position of need and depth for the club.
Aaron Long was a revelation at central defense a year ago, transitioning from the New York Red Bulls II into the Starting XI without as much as a hiccup. Defender Aurelien Collin, a standout for the Red Bulls in 2016, was limited to just nine appearances last year and seven starts due to injuries.
Parker would be coming into the Red Bulls squad as someone in the national team pool who can step in as a starter at either center back job. His positioning is solid and he reads the game well as a tenacious man-marker.
The loss of Felipe will sting, even as Parker helps at a position of need.
A tireless midfielder, set to turn 28-years old this September, the Brazilian was a perfect fit in head coach Jesse Marsch’s high-press and counter-press style. Relentless as a ball winner, Felipe was universally hated around the league for his intensity and hard-charging style. That attitude plus his affable demeanor with the fans won him adoration among the Red Bulls supporters.
Metro understands that Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) is going from the Red Bulls to the Whitecaps as part of the deal. In addition, the Red Bulls will be signing Parker to a new, long-term deal that includes a hefty raise for the center back.