October 23, 2012
FROM IRONMAN TO SUPER-SUB
Lindpere understands, doesn't mind his new role with the Red Bulls
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Joe Lindpere: "With this national team game, sometimes I need [a] rest, too. When they see that in practice that Iím a little bit heavy or need some treatment, Iíd like to take [advantage of] it."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. Ė That super-sub coming off the bench on Saturday night for the gameís final 13 minutes? None other than Joel Lindpere, last yearís ironman of the club.
It has been a season of adjustments for Lindpere in what is his third year with the Red Bulls. He has played in all 33 matches this Major League Soccer season but has only 25 starts, his lowest tally since joining the league in 2010. Saturdayís appearance off the bench is due to his midweek representation with the Estonian national team as the clubís recent depth allowing coach Hans Backe the flexibility to put Lindpere on the field deep into the second half.
But is this eighth appearance this season off the bench a new role for Lindpere? Consider that he has come off the bench four times in the past eight games and has gone the full 90 minutes just once in that stretch.
ďDefinitely not every game,Ē Lindpere said with a laugh. ďBut with this national team game, sometimes I need [a] rest, too. When they see that in practice that Iím a little bit heavy or need some treatment, Iíd like to take [advantage of] it. Everything depends on the situation and how it goes, if everyone is healthy or not healthy. It is now the end of the season and we want everyone fit, so if you can get the rest, you want to take it.Ē
Lindpere even said he understands the decision to put him on the bench this past weekend and doesnít mind it from time to time, a surprising admission for a player who started all 34 league matches last season.
ďIíve been playing most likely all the games so far this year," he said. "I had long travels and the air travel for Estonia isnít the fanciest of flights Ė we donít have so much money but it takes a lot [out of you]. Itís normal, Iím used to it but when I come back and if everyone is fit and healthy, then I understand that others might be, maybe, more fresh. I was ready this Saturday, every game Iím ready. Iím happy I got some minutes to see how it goes. I think Iíve been in every game this year; Iím ready.
ďMaybe sometimes when you play tough games with the national team, you get heavy legs and the coach has other options, it is sometimes good and maybe even good for the team to put me in at the end. I think I can help there; thatís all I really want is whatís best for the team.Ē