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Boyz to turn up heat on Canada

Published:Friday | July 10, 2015 | 6:02 PM
Reggae Boyz defender Kemar Lawrence


THE REGGAE BOYZ will be looking to turn up the heat on Canada when both teams meet at BBVA Compass Stadium, with temperatures forecast at 95 degrees and humidity 58 per cent.

"I think we just have to go out there with the mentality that we're going to work hard and we're going to push them in this heat, because it's going to be a warm game and most of us were born in Jamaica and we're used to heat," noted fullback Kemar Lawrence after training yesterday.

Lawrence scored when the teams last met, in a friendly at BOM Stadium in Toronto last September, and for today's 5 p.m. CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B match, he'll be looking to do the same.

goal or assist

"I'm always looking to score a goal in every game I play, I'll be looking to score tomorrow off a set piece or open play," he admitted. "If not, I'm looking to get an assist, because two of my friends called me and said the throw-in doesn't count. So I'm looking to get an assist."

Lawrence's reference is to Wednesday's opening match against Costa Rica when his long throw found its way to the boot of Garath McCleary, who buried a shot past the keeper for Jamaica's opening goal. Though he seeks to repeat his scoring heroics, the New York Red Bulls player is waving off the match.

"I scored a goal but it wasn't a win, so, for me, that doesn't count now," he recalls. "It's about getting the three points and getting my team to progress to the next round, that's the important thing."

Both teams are tied on a point after drawing their opening games, Jamaica 2-2 against Costa Rica and Canada 0-0 with El Salvador.

Lawrence, popularly known as 'Taxi', says a lot has changed since the last game.

"We have a different group of players, mostly playing in England. So I think it's a different brand of football you're going to be seeing out there," he reasoned.

"We definitely have a bond coming out of Copa America and I think that bond is building and getting stronger," he added.

Jamaica played in the South America championship two weeks prior to this CONCACAF tournament and got a big boost from good performances against Argentina, now world number one; Uruguay, the previous champions, and Paraguay.

"The team has confidence in each player now ... we just play the football and know that a teammate is going to have your back," Lawrence observed.