With the combination of a technical staff clear out and his comments following New York’s playoff exit against D.C. back in November, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Joel Lindpere’s departure from Red Bull.
It wasn’t until last Friday that his destination was confirmed as New York dealt the Estonian international to the Fire in exchange for a 2013 International Roster spot.
The move was a welcome one with Chicago a desirable relocation spot for Lindpere.
“I knew it was coming so it was easy for me,” he told Chicago-Fire.com Monday. “Basically everywhere that I had the potential to play, I decided first where I wanted to go and in which team I would like to play.
"If I don’t like any teams, I don’t go there -- that’s just me. I knew that something was going to happen and that Chicago wanted me and I felt the same way.”
Desire to Move
As he describes it, Lindpere’s desire to seek another team was two-fold. The first having to do with his return to a central midfield role, a spot he excelled in at New York only to see his time dwindle there with the arrival of Australian international Tim Cahill.
“Moving back to my regular position was why I needed the new atmosphere,” said Lindpere. “That’s where I want to play and I think I’ve been playing my best games for New York in this position and made club records and was MVP in the middle.
“For me it’s unacceptable when somebody says that I don’t have an opportunity to play in the center when statistics show something different. It’s my wish and I’m ready to battle for that. If someone is better than me, it’s no problem to come on as a sub in the game also.
"I’ve done everything in my career to start every single game but I don’t like to play out wide and that was a big part of what the discussions were with Frank [Klopas].”
Beyond positioning, Lindpere admitted to being frustrated at the end of his stay in New York, citing roster turnover and lack of championships.
“New York is a huge brand and I’ve been playing there with almost 55 or 60 players in the last three years. I know they do everything to win but I’ve been played with many good players who I enjoyed my time with but all they’re all basically gone.
“That’s the way it is there and I understand they’re a huge brand and want to do everything to win something. They haven’t won a cup and haven’t won the league so that’s the reason that not too many players stay there too long.”
While the Fire haven’t won a title since 2006, the team does have six domestic championships in its 15 years of play, as well as appearances in two more MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup finals as well as the 2009 SuperLiga.
It’s the club’s richer history of winning combined with last season’s resurgence that have the 31-year-old convinced he made the right choice with his Fire switch.
“I’m a team player. I love to give good assists and score but I think I’ve told this many times in media – I want to win something and I don’t want to leave places without winning.
"I come to the Fire wanting to win something and I found a place where I know the team is capable of it.”