BigAppleSoccer.com's Kristian Dyer has had a busy couple of days. On Sunday, shortly after the New York Red Bulls concluded a victory over Philadelphia so dominating they basically took the second half to sit back and admire what they had done, Dyer caught up with Kemar Lawrence and got the left back to confirm he will be combining RBNY's playoff schedule with playing for his country in November's CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifiers:
It's not rumblings. I'm definitely going to get called in.
Not a huge surprise, given Lawrence's emergence as one of the region's best players in his position this year and the fact Jamaica is in a very tough qualifying group.
Subsequently, Dyer caught up with RBNY head coach Jesse Marsch to talk about Bradley Wright-Phillips' plans regarding his potential commitment to Jamaica's international soccer cause. Marsch had little to offer to advance what we already know to be something of a dilemma for BWP:
I haven’t heard anything from him. I haven’t asked him much lately, I think he’s so focused. So no, I don’t know.
One point to note: in his interview with Lawrence, Dyer did also get confirmation that the Jamaica Football Federation and RBNY are on pretty good terms:
I told them [Jamaican Football Federation] right now we're in the playoffs and I have to be really focused. My team needs me here and I know they need me there. It's something they figure out together. They have a good relationship, so I leave it to Ali [Curtis, Red Bulls sporting director] and the guys in Jamaica to deal with that.
Club and country have got used to talking, one supposes, over the course of this season as Lawrence has got progressively more important to both teams. Perhaps they also talk about BWP.
Jamaica's next matches are on November 13 (vs Panama in Jamaica) and November 17 (against Haiti in Haiti). We should know the squad for those matches by the first week of November, at the latest.
If BWP isn't on the Jamaica roster for those games, it doesn't necessarily mean he won't join the team in future - but the further the Reggae Boyz progress toward Russia 2018 without BWP, the more the need or desire for his services may diminish. And, of course, if they crash out of qualifying (as they very nearly did in the previous round against Nicaragua), they likely won't want BWP at all. His value is to this World Cup cycle, not the next. Eventually, if BWP waits long enough, Jamaica's results will make his decision for him.