Parke to miss start of USL-1 season

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announce that recently acquired defender Jeff Parke will not be eligible for the Whitecaps first four matches of the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) regular season. Last October, Parke and former New York Red Bulls teammate Jon Conway were both suspended for 10 Major League Soccer (MLS) matches - including regular season and playoffs - and were fined 10 per cent of their annual salary for violation of the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health (SABH) Policy. "U.S. Soccer have opted to uphold the remaining four games in Jeff’s MLS suspension, and as a result, he will not be available to us for the start of our season," said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi. "Jeff is a key part of our team and we look forward to having him available during the most congested part of our schedule, which includes all four Nutrilite Canadian Championship matches." Parke has already served six games and will be eligible to suit up for Vancouver when the 'Caps play Minnesota Thunder at the National Sports Center Stadium on Saturday, May 2. The suspension and fines are the result of testing positive for androstatriendione (ATD) and boldenone metabolites – both of which are considered performance enhancing substances. Parke and Conway purchased the supplement from a vitamin store that is part of a national chain. The over-the-counter nutritional supplement ingested contained ATD, a substance that metabolizes into boldenone. Both ATD and boldenone are banned substances under MLS's SABH policy. The defending USL-1 champion Whitecaps kick off their 2009 campaign against Charleston Battery at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, at Swangard Stadium. Whitecaps 2009 season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets include all men’s and women's team regular season and playoff home matches at Swangard Stadium, Nutrilite Canadian Championship home matches against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, as well as priority listing for Vancouver MLS 2011 at BC Place. For more information on the 2009 season ticket packages, click here or call 604.669.WAVE (9283).