The Red Bulls have traded veteran midfielder Joel Lindpere to the Chicago Fire – as first reported by Steven Goff of the Washington Post – in what amounts to a salary dump.
Lindpere’s contract calls for more than $200,000 in salary and bonuses this season, making him too expensive for a Red Bulls lineup that now includes Juninho, Tim Cahill and Dax McCarty.
Lindpere produced a career-low five assists after moving to wide left from his preferred middle according to the wishes of ex-coach Hans Backe and general manager Erik Soler. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after scoring three goals and a team-high six assists in 30 matches in 2010.
While Lindpere’s exit will help ease the Red Bulls’ salary cap woes, a return to the middle for the Fire could revitalize Lindpere’s MLS career.
Lindpere is a workhorse, playing in an MLS-high 107 out of a possible 108 MLS regular season matches during the last three seasons.