Parker yelling - rain jersey
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Parker hoping for U.S. national team call after bounce back season

VANCOUVER, BC – Tim Parker is left with mixed feelings after Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s season came to an end in Seattle a week ago.

There's a sense of pride in both his own and the team's performances over the course of the season, but that's mixed with a feeling of a missed opportunity.

A nagging sense of what could have been for the 'Caps.

“Coming off last year, to have the year we did this year is something to be proud about,” Parker told MLSsoccer.com. “Last year was such a bad year I guess and this year was much better, so looking at it in that way, it's better, but at the same time, we knew we had something special and I don't think we fully capitalized on it.”

The 24-year-old was a key component in Vancouver’s defense this season, forming a formidable center back pairing with Kendall Waston that played a significant role in the ‘Caps making it to the Western Conference Semifinals.

After an impressive rookie year in 2015, Parker's sophomore season in 2016 saw some struggles, both for him and the ‘Caps backline. Cementing himself as the starter alongside Waston this season saw Parker come back to his best.

“My game's developed a lot,” Parker feels. “Part of it has to do with comfortability of finally being able to form that partnership with [Kendall] and at the same time, it's us just growing and getting to know each other.”

Parker's performances this past season have seen him in the conversation with regards to a US national team call-up. Jurgen Klinsmann brought the centre back into a camp in January 2016. There's been nothing since, but Parker is hopeful that his play will see him back in the reckoning soon.

“I’ve got hopes,” Parker admits. “I was on the preliminary roster for the Portugal game, so I was hoping for that … but it's just one of those things. You've kind of got to wait your time and hopefully your actions on the field, and off the field, can get you on there.”

Parker says he “never heard specifically” from former USMNT head coach Bruce Arena about whether the national team were keeping tabs on him or what he was needing to work on to break into the set-up, but with a changing off the guard both in terms of management and playing personnel, the New York native is hoping that this will now be his chance to shine.

“Yeah, I hope so now,” Parker said. “They're trying to bring in a new cycle of guys. Just by missing the World Cup and everything, I hope I'm able to contribute in whatever way that they see me contributing in."

To get to that level, Parker is just hoping for more of the same in terms of his own performances on the pitch.

“Just continuing on the path that I had this year,” is Parker's view on what he needs to do to get that national team call-up. “I've built in strides about playing out of the back and then trying to be a threat on set pieces. It's hard when you have Kendall next to you, but he does create a lot of attention, so it gives me some opportunities as well that I should be able to score on.”