Estonian national and blue-collar midfielder Joel Lindpere put up a career year in 2011, scoring seven goals (third overall on the team), adding seven assists (tied for first) and leading the club in minutes played (3,048). He was also the only player to start in all 34 matches. Add that all up and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the Red Bulls announced they offered Lindpere a new contract Tuesday afternoon while on a two-week preseason trip in Mexico.
“I’m very proud of myself and proud of the team, but I can’t be so happy because I haven’t won in two years with a really good two seasons,” said Lindpere. “That means there is a step ahead.”
Easily considered a favorite amongst the Red Bulls faithful, the 30-year-old has experienced tremendous growth since debuting with New York in 2010. His three-goal, six-assist performance that season left a promising impression of what had yet to come, and his 2011 campaign solidified the fact that re-signing Lindpere would remain a front office priority.
“Joel has been an important part of our progress over the last two seasons and has become one of our most popular players because of his work rate, performance and commitment to the club,” said New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “We wanted to reward him with a new contract to recognize his efforts and are excited that we agreed to a new contract with him. We look forward to having him as a Red Bull in the coming years, as we aim to win the MLS Cup.”
“I have so much to win still. I haven’t got the MLS Cup yet,” said Lindpere. “So now I have maybe one or two years to bring it home with the team. I think this is the situation that has been a very good two years for me. Best in my career. This year I need to do my work.”
Lindpere and the Red Bulls will kick off their preseason training in Mexico this week before returning to Harrison on Feb. 15. After a shot lull between travel, the team will jet out to Arizona on Feb. 20 to compete in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup and Reto del Sol match against Pumas UNAM on Feb. 23. Tickets for each event available here and here.