Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
The Chicago Fire were in the market for some help in central midfield and they have just found it in a player who is leaving a team that didn’t seem to value him in a central role.
The Fire have acquired Joel Lindpere from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for an international roster spot for the 2013 season, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed to SBI on Friday.
Lindpere should compete for a starting role as a central midfielder, where he thrived for New York early in career. He struggled with the Red Bulls in 2012 playing in a wide midfield role he just didn’t look comfortable playing.
The move frees up salary cap space for the Red Bulls (Lindpere is due to make in the neighborhood of $200,000 in 2013), while also giving them an extra international roster spot, which is valuable for a team that is sure to have a strong international feel to it once the team is done building its roster.
The Red Bulls are far from done shaping their roster. Colombian defender Wilman Conde is expected to be cut loose at some point in the off-season, which should free up even more salary cap space, while forward Kenny Cooper could still be traded this off-season.
So who is the winner in this trade? The Red Bulls could make out if they use the salary cap space and international slot for an impact starter, but they also might have helped give a conference rival a vital piece the Fire were missing, a tireless central midfield option with good attacking qualities.
What do you think of this development? See Lindpere succeeding in Chicago? Think the Red Bulls let him go too cheaply?
Share your thoughts below.