Joel Lindpere struggled to keep a starting spot at his natural central midfielder position last season in New York. Things may not get any easier after being acquired by the Chicago Fire last week.
Lindpere will still face stiff competition from former Mexican international Pável Pardo and captain Logan Pause in the central midfield, where coach Frank Klopas said the Estonian is slated to play in 2013.
“I think a lot goes into [who starts] – the kind of form the players are in, how they train, and obviously I believe he's a very good player,” Klopas told MLSsoccer.com. “[Lindpere is] an impact player. I think a lot goes into it, players' form and recent games that he's played … I think we picked a very good player, one that's going to help our team become better. “
With Pardo turning 37 this season, there is reason to believe Lindpere could take his place in the lineup, but the Mexican missed just seven in 2012. And sitting Pause, the team leader and midfield destroyer, shouldn't be on the table according to many on the team.
So could there be a rotation? Klopas doesn't seem like he's expecting to have to resort to one.
“I don't think we play 70 games in a season where we need to rotate,” Klopas said. “There might be opportunities throughout the season where you're playing away on the road and you're coming back on a short trip to do so. … If there's a need to rotate players in certain spots, then we'll look to do so.”
Klopas said the Fire front office was excited about the prospects of landing Lindpere as soon as they heard New York was shopping him, but adding him to the mix will certainly make his gameday decisions more difficult.
He's hoping the players will sort that out.
“I think a lot of it, the players are going to make the decisions easy for you,” Klopas said. “I think the other players have some different characteristics. I think competition is good.”
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- Joel Lindpere
- Frank Klopas