Pat Noonan, Sounders
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Noonan signs for Seattle; Parke in limbo

Today’s formal announcement of the signing of veteran forward Pat Noonan was made anticlimactic by the former New England Revolution star’s slip of the tongue. Noonan mentioned to the Tacoma News Tribune that he had signed with the team a day before the contract was approved by the league.

“Seattle showed interest,” Noonan told TNT’s Don Ruiz. “I think they were the first team to show interest, and to be very honest I was very excited about the opportunity, and it was kind of a done-deal after that. I wanted to come here and be a part of it.”

Noonan went on to say that he’ll be available for Saturday night’s game against New York and hopes he is selected into Sigi Schmid’s 18-man roster.

If Freddie Ljungberg’s back injury precludes him from playing, the 29-year old Noonan would be a solid option to play alongside Fredy Montero in Seattle’s 4-4-2 formation. Noonan notched 37 goals and 29 assists in five seasons with the Revolution before bouncing around MLS and Europe during the past two seasons.

"I'm excited that Pat Noonan was available and we were able to sign him," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said in a team release. "My experience with him was a very good one in Columbus.

"Pat is a good player who can play a number of different positions on the field, and is a very solid professional."

However, the team has yet to make a decision on former New York Red Bulls defender Jeff Parke. The defender has been in camp with Seattle for most of the preseason and accompanied the club on its preseason trip to Spain.

In his comments to the media on Tuesday, Schmid intimated that an offer has been made to Parke but that negotiations are ongoing. From a pure talent standpoint, Parke seems to easily be one of the team’s top four center backs, along with Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall and MLS Defender of the Year finalist Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. 

“That ball is really in both courts a little bit,” Schmid said Tuesday. “It’s a decision that he has to make. It’s a decision we have to make. But he has to make a decision, too.”

Parke was a standout defender in five seasons with the New York Red Bulls, but he was cut loose after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance. This past weekend, Parke was honored as one of New York’s all-time Best XI in a ceremony before the New York-Chicago match.

Considering the player’s ignominious exit, it’s important to remember that the Red Bull Best XI was chosen by a fan vote.