In the first half of last Saturday’s 3-0 win at Kansas City, New York midfielder Joel Lindpere drew a yellow card after being fouled by a Wizards defender.
Lindpere had just made a nifty move, splitting two defenders to free himself for an open chance at goal before he got dragged down. Lindpere got the foul and the Kansas City player got a yellow card.
WATCH: MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: KC 0, NY 3
Then Lindpere got upset with the referee. He vented his frustration to the man with the whistle.
“I got a yellow card because I was hoping the referee would give him a red card,” Lindpere said. “I was going full speed, heading into the box and got fouled hard. That is a red card.”
While it couldn’t be seen on television, it wasn’t just Lindpere’s words that got him the caution card -- it was his actions.
“I was touching the referee’s hands,” Lindpere said. “I deserved the yellow card.”
Lindpere is a feisty box to box player whose memory is almost as long as his endurance on the field. He knows that in two games this season, the Red Bulls have received at least one red card. He feels that they should have benefitted from two red cards against their opponents but the call didn’t go the Red Bulls’ way. No matter, he said.
“We have to concentrate on our own game,” Lindpere said. “If we do that and play our own game, I’m not sure anyone in this league can beat us.”
He credits the Cruzeiro friendly, played the week before the Kansas City match, for keeping the team sharp after their World Cup layoff. Winners of three in a row, the away win against the Wizards was New York’s third victory on the road this season. Last year, the Red Bulls didn’t win once while wearing their away kits.
“In the second half, we really deserved to win,” Lindpere said of the game against Kansas City. “3-0 is a very good result.”
As for the fact that he is among the league leaders in voting for the All-Star Game in Houston in a few weeks, Lindpere says he doesn’t keep up with things like that. Even if the game’s opponent is Manchester United, it doesn’t matter much to Lindpere.
“I don’t think about things like that. Is it nice? Yes, it is very nice. It would be an honor, for sure, but that isn’t my concern,” Lindpere said. “My concern is on the field. We have a good team here and we can do good things. I want us to perform well, to win games. That is my goal.
“My aim is my play in the league and for this team, nothing else.”
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs. He can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at Twitter @kdyer1012.