The Chicago Fire rang in 2013 with their first player move of the new year Friday as the team acquired Estonian international midfielder Joel Lindpere from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a 2013 international roster spot.
"Joel is a versatile, dependable player that has proven himself in MLS,” said Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon. “He will provide a dynamic presence to our team in 2013 as we look to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs.”
Dependable may be one of the best words to describe the 31-year-old midfielder, who since joining New York in 2010 has missed only one MLS match. With 97 appearances to his name, Lindpere has played in more games than any other MLS player over the past three seasons.
Reached for comment Friday, Fire head coach Frank Klopas was excited about his new acquisition and signaled that his intent to use the veteran of 84 international appearances for Estonia differently than his more recent deployment with Red Bull of late.
“He’s a guy that knows the league and brings a lot of international experience,” head coach Frank Klopas told Chicago-Fire.com Friday. “He’s an all-around solid player and last year I didn’t agree with how New York played him out wide. I think the times where he did really well were when he played inside as a box-to-box guy.
“He’s a great player that works very hard for the team, has a lot of quality to make that final pass and to score.”
Beyond where he’ll fit on the field, Klopas praised the competitive spirit Lindpere, who is also a U.S. Green Card holder, brings to the field.
“We’re looking for guys that want to win, that are competitors and will give everything for the team. I think Joel brings all that and he’ll fit in very well with our team.”