BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Though Joel Lindpere is now into his 16th season as a pro, Sunday’s game against the New York Red Bulls was the first time he’d ever played against a former team.
The Estonian international joined the Fire via trade in January after spending the previous three seasons with New York and earned his 100th MLS appearance in the 3-1 victory over his old side.
“We got a little bit more than before,” he told Chicago-Fire.com post-game. “I’m quite excited, it was a special moment for me to play against a lot of old teammates. We’ve been telling all the time that there’s no stress, the wins will be there. It’s a perfect moment for us.”
Part of Lindpere’s exit from New York bore out of his desire to return to a more central position after the 31-year-old midfielder was used more exclusively on the left in his final season with the Red Bulls.
Switching with Daniel Paladini on the right side and even pinching in at times to replace Chris Rolfe in the middle, Lindpere easily had his best performance in a Fire shirt to date.
Asked if he was okay with playing in a wider role, Lindpere said, “What can we do? We had Patrick and Dilly injured and I gotta do it. It’s not my first choice but I was going in even on the right side many times.
“If you can rotate and have freedom I think with the creative players we have, if we can rotate and cover each other and change positions, then it should be no problem.”
WATCH: Klopas, players react to 3-1 victory
As for what the win meant for Lindpere, he harkened back to the last time the Fire beat a Red Bulls team he was part of at Toyota Park.
“Everybody knew that we’d win one day. Home against Red Bulls is a great result. They were talking days before about last year’s game being the same result 3-1. It’s good to keep going like this.
“We see them one more time this year so let’s see, let’s keep this tradition.”