August 12, 2012
By Kristian R. Dyer, BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
RETURNING TO FORM
Lindpere showed old spark against Houston
HARRISON, N.J. – After playing 20 minutes off the bench in the Red Bulls 2-0 loss at Houston two Fridays ago, Joel Lindpere was part of head coach Hans Backe’s Starting XI for the return match against the Dynamo. And boy was he a terror.
|After Friday’s solid performance against the Houston Dynamo, Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere said “I do my job and I play as I can, every game.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Lindpere went 79 minutes this past Friday night in the Red Bulls’ payback 2-0 win against Houston, putting in a solid shift on the left side of the midfield. He looked like the Lindpere of old, the player who was a fan favorite his first two years in the league, his performances earning a new contract this offseason. But Lindpere has fallen on hard times this year, earning him a trip to the bench several times, including the Houston game two weeks ago.
“I think I [just] played. If you watch last week’s game and today’s game, who didn’t play? I do my job and I play as I can, every game,” Lindpere said.
“Last game I went in also, 20 minutes and I played myself out, even [in] 20 minutes. I tried to create something, that’s the thing. If we play as one team and strong as one team, that’s how we can win.”
It hasn’t been the easiest of campaigns for Lindpere as 2012 has had its fair shares of downs sprinkled in with some ups. Statistically, Lindpere is still on track to do as well as his previous two years in MLS but his form has been a bit more inconsistent. He’s had some nagging injuries and international duty with Estonia has taken its toll on his body.
So to see him on Friday night, flying down the left flank, pushing into the attack and pushing hard defensively down the wing was a welcome sight. It was the Lindpere of old and he was quick to point out that he wasn’t making a statement with his play in the match.
“Nothing [different] - I played there before so I just do my job. I think we on the team decided to make it so strong, so difficult on them as possible. When one team pressures us high, it makes it difficult. If they start to pressure us, [it] makes it more difficult for us,” Lindpere said. “We used the home advantage and went strong out. We created chances and they got nervous and they started to lose the game. Then we saw what chances we had and we kept our heads up and we scored.”