September 18, 2012
THE TOP PRIORITY
To Lindpere, it's about trophies, not starts
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Joel Lindpere: "We know the games and we want some trophies and the team is getting back some players and options."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
Undeterred by recently being in and out of the Starting XI, Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere is keeping his eye on the goal of delivering the team some hardware this season.
Lindpere has played in 28 games this season with 22 starts, putting him near the top of the list for minutes played by anyone on the club. But in his last six appearances with New York, Lindpere has made only three starts and come off the bench the other three times Ė a surprise for many fans who are accustomed to him being a regular in the Starting XI.
It isnít really a concern for the third-year Red Bulls midfielder.
ďI think basically my situation is, we know the games and we want some trophies and the team is getting back some players and options," he said after training at Montclair State University on Tuesday. "Iíve been taking part in every single game this year and Iím very happy about it. If Iím starting or Iím not starting, I just want a good result. I just want to finish the season strong with the team, thatís the most important thing right now.Ē
Last Tuesday, Lindpere started and played 55 minutes for Estonia in a 3-0 World Cup qualifying loss to Turkey. The travel and playing of a midweek game may have factored into why Lindpere was a second-half substitute in Saturdayís 3-1 home win over Columbus.
A suddenly deep Red Bulls team may also have been part of the decision to make him a spark off the bench.
ďBasically I think so, yes," Lindpere said. "Everybody is fit now and the [coaches] can take it game by game and they can decide how they want to play and how they want to play everything."
ďI think itís good for the team; we have six games to go and everybody is fit and the coaching staff can take it game by game. Thatís a good thing."
Lindpere's and the Red Bulls' next game is a big one as it pits third-place New York against first-place Sporting Kansas City in an MLS Eastern Conference encounter at Red Bull Arena at 7 p.m. Wednesday.