Former Redhawk wins MLS championship


provided by Keaton Parks

Standing in front of City Hall in New York City, former Redhawks soccer player Keaton Parks stands with NYC Major Bill de Blasio after receiving the key to the city in a ceremony on Dec. 14 to honor the MLS Cup champions: the NYCFC.

Wingspan Staff

The journey began on the school’s soccer fields. From there it was on to Europe and then back to the United States and the New York City Football Club of Major League Soccer. And now, former Redhawks soccer player Keaton Parks is a MLS Cup Champion on Dec. 11.

Starting as a central midfielder in 28 of the team’s 31 regular season games, Parks missed the team’s playoff run after having surgery to remove a blood clot.

On Tuesday, Parks and the rest of his team were honored by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio in a ceremony where each player received a key to the city. 

“To win the MLS Cup is truly a dream come true. I would never have guessed that I would receive the key to New York City,” Parks said. “As a kid growing up in Frisco, Texas, that’s just like the craziest thing to me. I am proud of all of the work I have put in over the past couple of years and to be in this position now is amazing.”

Winning the team’s first championship since it was founded in 2013, NYCFC’s win was the first title won by a team from New York City since the N.Y. Giants won the Super Bowl in 2011.

“This is a historic win for NYCFC and for New York City,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “The grit, tenacity, and resiliency this team has displayed this season and in the final game has been an inspiration. On behalf of 8.8 million New Yorkers, congratulations to our champions!”

Graduating in 2015, winning a major club championship is a dream come true for Parks.

“I never envisioned this day when I was at Liberty,” he said. “I always wanted to play professional soccer and I wanted to win trophies when I was playing professional soccer, so really this is all just a dream come true to me. This is everything I have wanted since I was a little kid so it is really an amazing feeling.”