New York Red Bulls left back Kemar Lawrence wants to leave the club. The team won’t give him a raise and he isn’t happy with their habit of releasing notable veterans, per MLS writer Tom Bogert.
Lawrence later confirmed that he does want to leave the team, per MLS writer Tom Bogert. He explained that it’s mainly because the Red Bulls will not give him a raise.
“Yes, I did make a trade request, I just don’t feel appreciated,” Lawrence explained. “I feel like it’s fair enough. It came to the point where my agent reached out and said, ‘Yo, Kemar needs a raise, but you’re not going to have a conversation about it?'”
Lawrence is by far one of the best, if not the best, left back in the MLS. According to MLSPA, as of June 1, the Jamaican’s guaranteed salary was $382,750 a year.
He later stated, “It always feels like we don’t want to pay somebody to keep them or get the right persons. Always trying to save some money or do something the cheaper way instead of investing in somebody and watching it turn over, you get me?”
Lawrence expressed that other teams are willing to offer him more.
“I need to make a decision to go somewhere else. There are teams willing to do that,” he said.
“But you’re not willing to do that—Why? I’ve played for you for 5 seasons, what more is there to show? I’ve shown you the highest level there is. What more is there to prove?”
The 27-year-old also isn’t pleased with the club’s constant release of veterans. RBNY said good-bye to the team’s all-time top scorer, Bradley Wright-Phillips, and all-time minutes leader, Luis Robles, on Nov. 21.
Over the calendar year, they’ve also parted ways with meaningful veterans Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty.
“It makes you think: Does this club really appreciate you?” Lawrence reasoned.
The left-back did make it clear that he desires to stay with The Metros. However, his first priority is his salary.
“I told them [the fans] already: This is my club. I really want to stay. But I know I should be paid.”
If he doesn’t get his raise it’s very likely that the defender will do what’s best for him. That might mean leaving New York.
“I get the Red Bulls are always trying to make a decision that’s best for them, but when do you look on my side and be like ‘What’s best for Kemar?’ They won’t, so I have to look out for me,” Lawrence said.