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Marry/Boff/Kill: Joel Lindpere

The 'Estonian Rocky' made waves after the final game, but was it back-sassing or merely truth-telling?

Lindpere's eight assists led the Fire, despite spotty playing time.
Lindpere's eight assists led the Fire, despite spotty playing time.

Ordinarily, a game of "Marry/F**k/Kill" involves a naming a group of three people who presumably have something in common, and challenging the people in the conversation to choose one fate for each of them - one to partner with for good, one explored for a connection but not kept, and one cast off into the outer darkness. Fans of 30 Rock will recognize this game in its safe-for-primetime version, Marry/Boff/Kill, which name we're borrowing because we do not want SB Nation getting angry emails..

Here at Hot Time, we're going to use the game to talk about players - specifically Chicago Fire players, naturally. We're going to use it as a way to talk about the roster. It works like this: ‘Marry' indicates a willingness to keep the player regardless of cap issues or any other considerations; ‘Boff' (i.e., ‘F**k) means that we're, uhh, f**king the player over, asking for modifications to their contract or running them through the Re-Entry Draft process - we're interested but not on these terms; and ‘Kill' means terminating the player's contact with CF97.

We're going to present some kind of argument for each outcome, and let the community have their say. I mean, why not? It's something like three months until the first preseason friendly. In case you didn't get with the action yesterday, we started the series with Logan Pause and Gonzalo Segares, while Chris Rolfe got the treatment earlier today.

Joel Lindpere, #26, 32 years old

2013: 25 appearances (17 starts), 1444 minutes, 2 goals, 8 assists

MLS career: 122 appearances (106 starts), 17 goals, 26 assists

$180,000 base salary, $205,000 guaranteed

It's possible that Lindpere isn't even interested in returning to Chicago - he certainly let his feelings about previous management be known after the season-ending loss in New Jersey. But could Yallop be a Frank more to Joel's liking?

The case to ‘Marry'

Yes, he's 32, and no, he's not cheap, but Lindpere's ability to create chances with cleverly weighted passes is not a skill that comes cheaply. It's also possible that Joel's complaints about practice were a cry for help for the organization - we've certainly seen the termination of everyone involved with planning practices since the season ended. Joel led the team in assists despite clearly being outside of Klopas' preferred XI. No one on the roster has the array of subtle touches that comprise Lindpere's game.

The case to ‘Boff'

The problem with the Estonian's subtle touches is that he has a hard time utilizing them in the congestion in the middle of the pitch, seeming instead to get the ball stuck under his body more often than is seemly - which leaves him as a flank player who's getting slower by the day. At a more modest salary, he could be a useful part of a squad. Would he consent to re-sign after the indignity of the Re-Entry Draft?

The case to ‘Kill'

Does he even want to be here? Last offseason, we heard how Lindpere wanted a chance to play in the middle, which led to his exodus from RedBulls - but barely five games into this season, the Lindpere-in-the-middle experiment was over. He's 32, so it's all downside from here.

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