Normally, when a traded player faces his former team for the first time, there is talk of revenge and a desire to show the former club that it made a mistake in not keeping him.

Yet there will be none of that when Union defender Jeff Parke meets his former Seattle Sounders team in Saturday's 4 p.m. Major League Soccer game at PPL Park.

That's because, even though the 31-year-old Parke remains at the top of his game, Seattle did him a favor by trading him back home.

Parke had three highly productive seasons for Seattle but at the end of the season requested a trade to Philadelphia.

Parke is from the area, a two-time state champion at Downingtown West High, a key member of dominant FC Delco club teams, and a four-year starter at Drexel.

He began his MLS career with New York in 2004, eventually landed in Seattle, and is now home for the 3-3-2 Union, who are competing in their fourth season.

Parke enjoyed everything about Seattle, including a large soccer-crazed fan base. He loved the city and the team.

The only problem was that it wasn't home.

So, after the season he talked to the Sounders about his desire to finish his career near family and friends.

"I expressed . . . how family was first, and how I wanted to be back in Philly and be home," Parke said during a Wednesday news conference.

He said he figured he had about another four years left, and he wanted to end his career near where it started.

And yet this was much more than a soccer decision. It was a life decision.

"Every week I can scoot over to my parents' or to my wife's parents', and they can come to help. And if we need anything, they are there," he said. "And they can see our little daughter, which is the most important thing."

Seattle, one of the model organizations in MLS, showed class in granting Parke's request.

"Seattle was very accommodating and made it happen for me," he said.

And because of that, there are nothing but good feelings between Parke and his former team. While there is no bitterness, Parke admits that this will be a special game.

"You want to win so you can walk away and have some bragging rights for a while," he said.

It's the Union doing a lot of bragging about having a center back such as Parke, who plays under control and is a natural leader and a potential all-star.

"I really don't have anything but good things to say of Jeff because of the kind of person he is, the kind of professional he has been since the first day he arrived," team manager John Hackworth said. "Not only that, but he has really played well and brought leadership and continuity to our back line."

And it has brought a level of contentment that comes with being surrounded by family.

"This is home," Parke said.

And never has it felt more comfortable.