Sources: Red Bulls sign USMNT defender Tim Parker to new three-year deal

Tim Parker MLS New York Red Bulls 04282018Mark J. Rebilas

The New York Red Bulls took a major step toward keeping together the best defense in Major League Soccer by securing the services of one of their best defenders on a new long-term deal.

The Red Bulls have signed Tim Parker to a new three-year deal, multiple sources confirmed to Goal.

Parker was on the verge of being out of contract, and could have tested the international transfer market, but the Red Bulls finalized a deal that will make Parker one of the highest-paid defenders in MLS, and the highest-paid defender on the Red Bulls.

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The 25-year-old central defender enjoyed a breakout season in 2018 after being traded by the Vancouver Whitecaps to the Red Bulls before the 2018 season. Parker's arrival helped turn the Red Bulls defense into the best unit in MLS. The Red Bulls allowed a league-low 33 goals, with Parker helping them reach the semifinals of the Concacaf Champions League as well as securing the team's third Supporters' Shield in six seasons, compiling a league-record 71 points.

Parker partnered with Aaron Long in what emerged as the best center-back partnership in MLS, with both players earning U.S. national team call-ups. Parker played in the USMNT's 1-1 draw with France.

Parker joined the Red Bulls in March in a trade from Vancouver after talks between Parker and the Whitecaps on a new contract fell through. Vancouver dealt Parker to the Red Bulls for midfielder Felipe Martins, $500,000 in allocation money and an international roster spot.

By signing Parker to a new deal, the Red Bulls now have three of their four starting defenders signed to new deals after signing Kemar Lawrence and Aaron Long to new contracts in 2018. Panamanian defender Michael Murillo has expressed his desire to move to Europe, and will head into 2019 with one year left on his contract. Murillo played for Panama in the 2018 World Cup, and has drawn transfer interest from Europe as one of the best right backs in MLS.

The Red Bulls are already facing the prospect of having to replace Tyler Adams, who is heading to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on a $3 million transfer, but now with Parker signed to a new deal, the Red Bulls should head into 2019 with a dominant defense that should keep the team in contention for a title.