The New York Red Bulls announced Tuesday that they have signed midfielder Joel Lindpere to a new, multi-year contract. Lindpere, the team’s 2010 Most Valuable Player, is coming off a 2011 campaign which saw him start all 34 regular season games, a franchise record.
“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 am very happy to continue my career as a Red Bull,” Lindpere said. “I have enjoyed my time in MLS over the past two seasons. The support from the fans has been sensational and I hope to help bring a MLS Cup to New York this season.”
The Red Bulls signed Lindpere from Norwegian Tippeligaen side, Tromso, in March 2010. In his first season in MLS, Lindpere led the team with six assists and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. He was also a finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year. Last season, Lindpere set club records in games played (34) and minutes played (3,048), recording seven goals and seven assists. He also has two postseason goals to his name.
At Tromso, Lindpere made 75 appearances from 2007-09 and scored five goals. The 30-year-old joined Tromso from Estonian club, FC Flora Tallinn. Lindpere had three different stints with FC Flora, from 2000-01, 2002-04 and 2005-06. In between, Lindpere also featured for Estonia’s FC Valga from 2001-02 and Bulgaria’s CSKA Sofia from 2004-05. He started his career in Estonia as a 15-year-old at JK Nomme Kalju in 1997 before moving onto Lelle SK for two years.
After making his international debut in 1999, Lindpere has been a stalwart for the Estonian National Team, earning 76 caps and scoring six goals.