20-Year-Old Texan Keaton Parks Extends Benfica Contract With Reported $47M Release Clause
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American midfielder Keaton Parks only made his competitive debut for Benfica on November 18, but the 20-year-old native of Plano, Texas, has shown enough with the reserve team to have his contract extended until 2022. Benfica have also reportedly placed a release clause of nearly $50 million on the player.
“I feel great. I’m very excited to start a new journey at Benfica — continue my journey with Benfica — and get my chance in the A team and in the B team as I move forward,” Parks told BenficaTV.
— SL Benfica EN (@slbenfica_en) December 6, 2017
Parks began his career with the Liverpool Warriors of the National Premier Soccer League, a club based in Dallas/Fort Worth. After playing in a youth tournament in Portugal, he was scouted and signed by Varzim Sport Club. After appearing in 10 matches and scoring two goals in Portugal’s second division, Parks made the switch to the country's most successful side, Benfica.
He’s played extensively with Benfica B, the club’s reserve team, in the second division, scoring two goals and providing two assists in 11 matches this season. His play saw him rewarded with a debut for the senior side in the Taca de Portugal (Cup of Portugal) back in November.
He’s yet to appear in the Portuguese Liga, but his renewed contract with the club represents an opportunity “to continue at Benfica, work very hard, and, if everything goes well, have more opportunities in the first team, more minutes in matches and prove myself.”
Benfica are currently third in the table, three points behind both Porto and Sporting above them. The club has been eliminated from European competition after a disastrous Champions League campaign that ended with six defeats from six matches.