It didn't take long to pick the brain of the newest member of the Fire about coming to Chicago in 2013. Courtesy of the official Fire site and Mr. Jeff Crandall, I have aggregated some quotes here for your reading pleasure:
"I knew it was coming so it was easy for me (his departure from NYRB). Basically everywhere that I had the potential to play, I decided first where I wanted to go and in which team I would like to play. If I don't like any teams, I don't go there -- that's just me. I knew that something was going to happen and that Chicago wanted me and I felt the same way."
That's some encouraging stuff already. He sees something good being built in Chicago, and, more importantly, wants to be a part of that. I think after the past couple of years of Castillo's and Robayo's, it is nice to hear honesty from a player wanting to pull on that Fire badge.
"Moving back to my regular position was why I needed the new atmosphere. That's where I want to play and I think I've been playing my best games for New York in this position and made club records and was MVP in the middle"
"For me it's unacceptable when somebody says that I don't have an opportunity to play in the center when statistics show something different. It's my wish and I'm ready to battle for that. If someone is better than me, it's no problem to come on as a sub in the game also"
"I've done everything in my career to start every single game but I don't like to play out wide and that was a big part of what the discussions were with Frank [Klopas]."
"My aim in leaving Red Bull was to play centrally and I know that I have a partner in the midfield that I would love to play with and if we find communication, I know I can play really well in the heart of midfield."
"I really think Frank welcomes me to the club as a central midfielder and that's my wish and reason to join the club. That's the thing I was missing at Red Bull and I'm so happy that if the coach sees me in this position that I'm ready to take the challenge."
Frank has billed Lindpere as a box to box type of player in our system (which he is). The fact that the center midfield position is still up in the air in terms of certainty makes this a pretty big acquisition. Bottom line- Lindpere likes the middle, we need someone in the middle, so it seems to be a match made in heaven (or Bridgeview so to speak). You can bet Joel is going to be ready to give it his all to earn and keep that position on the pitch. It would seem the early debate about how Joel would be employed is pretty clear after these comments.
"I'm a team player. I love to give good assists and score but I think I've told this many times in media - I want to win something and I don't want to leave places without winning. I come to the Fire wanting to win something and I found a place where I know the team is capable of it."
This says it all. The Fire are working to get the team back where it belongs- on top every year. I am extremely excited that Joel will be a part of this in 2013. The preseason can't come soon enough!
In one other quick note, the full MLS schedule is set to be released on Wednesday at 11 AM CST. Make sure to check back here at HTIOT for the full schedule and analysis/thoughts. It's always interesting to find out what sort of road the Fire will face in 2013. That day is only 2 days away.