Wed | Oct 28, 2020

Lawrence resurfaces for Anderlecht

Published:Sunday | October 18, 2020 | 12:17 AMLivingston Scott - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Jamaica’s Kemar Lawrence (right) challenges Mexico’s Elias Hernandez during a Concacaf Gold Cup semi-final in Pasadena, California, on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
Jamaica’s Kemar Lawrence (right) challenges Mexico’s Elias Hernandez during a Concacaf Gold Cup semi-final in Pasadena, California, on Sunday, July 23, 2017.

Jamaican international defender Kemar ‘Taxi’ Lawrence has returned to Belgian top division club Anderlecht, after mysteriously disappearing from the club for four months.

The 28-year-old left-sided player, who spent four seasons with Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York Red Bulls before moving to the European outfit midway the 2019-2020 season, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, did not return to preseason training in May.

Reports eventually emerged that the player had lost a family member and was in no mental state to play football.

However, in early September, Lawrence surprisingly returned for training and was even included in the team’s squad that face Club Brugge in a 3-0 defeat on September 4.

Clyde Jureidini, general manager of Harbour View, the club Lawrence transferred from to New York Red Bulls in 2014, said even though they do not know the facts behind Lawrence’s disappearance, he hopes the player continues to work with the Vincent Kompany-coached Anderlecht outfit to get his career back on track.

FAILED CONTACT ATTEMPTS

“We had tried contacting him over and over and all we got was second-hand information. We did not hear from him and we wanted to hear from him what’s going on with his career and his life, but we did not (get any contact) in our attempts over the last three months,” Jureidini revealed.

“But the mere fact that he is there and listed clearly is an indication that there is some agreement. The club and the player are working it out and we hope that continues to go in the right direction,” he said.

Lawrence, who has 58 caps for Jamaica, has been a part of the Reggae Boyz set-up since 2013. He was a key member of the Reggae Boyz teams that went to back-to-back Gold Cup finals in 2015 and 2017. He is also expected to be a big part of Theodore Whitmore’s plans for the 2022 World Cup qualification campaign.

Since his move to Anderlecht, the 28-year-old has only so far played four minutes for his new club, which came at the back end of last season, during a 7-0 win against Zulte Waregem on March 7, 2020.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com