To many New York Red Bulls’ fans dislike, Jamaica called Kemar Lawrence for international duty when he just returned from an MCL injury.
Having two girlfriends can start quite a few controversies. Playing for a club team and a national soccer team can start World War III (soccer edition).
New York Red Bulls left back Kemar Lawrence has been nursing an MCL injury since Nov. 11, 2018. The club was slowly leading him back to full fitness as Lawrence only played 45 minutes so far this season.
RBNY head coach Chris Armas revealed that the fullback is “back at full health” in The Coach’s Show on Wednesday. After Lawrence just fully ground back from his injury, his other loved one came knocking on his door.
Jamaica called him for a CONCACAF Nations League Qualifying versus El Salvador on Saturday and a friendly against Costa Rica on Tuesday.
Red Bulls fan weren’t happy.
he's played about 45 emergency minutes for us and not even named in the 18 recently, but he's fit for International call-ups? I'll never begrudge a player to put on the national shirt, but that's not right…..
— Pete Mumola (@nolecat34) March 20, 2019
As for the club itself, they didn’t express how they feel about The Reggae Boyz calling their starting left back when he just crawled back from a serious injury. Armas did say that the Red Bulls will never restrain a player from playing for their country but didn’t touch on Lawrence’s situation, specifically in The Coach’s Show.
“There’s no greater honor for a player to represent his country at the highest level,” the 46-year-old coach said.
“We support guys in that matter and never will hold payers back.”
However, you can assume that Armas and company will be holding their breath if Lawrence does play on Saturday in a competitive international qualification when he only played 45 minutes in the past four months.
As for Lawrence, how does he feel about playing international soccer right after recovering from a serious injury? The Jamaican has not openly spoken about it, but you can bet that he’s craving to help his country win the qualifier on Saturday. Needless to say, most players wearing their country’s color means more to them than putting on a club jersey.
Jamaica’s game on Saturday is an important one. The country does sit in fifth place of the CONCACAF Nations League qualifier with a 3-0-0 record but a loss to El Salvador could drop them below sixth place. If they end the qualifiers below sixth position, The Reggae Boyz won’t qualify for League A, the top tier of the CONCACAF Nations League.
Would the Red Bulls have played Lawrence on Saturday in a playoff match? More than likely. And it’s not that the Kingston native isn’t healthy. (A player who just became healthy is a healthy player.)
Nevertheless, Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore will have to use Lawrence with caution since he’s only been fully fit for just a few days.
The next thing that comes to mind is whether or not Whitmore will play the left back in Jamaica’s second match during the international break, a non-competitive game against Costa Rica.
It won’t be the best idea, that would be two games in three days on Lawrence’s body when he’s been sidelined for four months. And the defender has a match with the Red Bulls four days after his country’s game versus Costa Rica.
The best-case scenario for both of Demar Lawrence’s teams is that he only plays against El Salvador for his country and returns on the pitch for the New York Red Bulls on March 30 against Chicago Fire.