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Bulls Abroad: Jamaica names squad for South Korea - no New York Red Bulls called


Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Jamaica Football Federation has named its squad for the long haul to South Korea for a friendly international on October 13. We think: the announcement came via the JFF's Facebook page, and lists the technical and administrative team before getting round to the players - but it is the right of the JFF to use whatever format or medium it chooses to communicate with the public.

The good news for fans of the New York Red Bulls: no RBNY players are named in the squad. This is also bad news because it confirms the report offered by that the call-up for NYRB II's Devon "Speedy" Williams had been cancelled.

So not good for Williams, but good for those RBNY fans concerned by the possibility Kemar Lawrence might be summoned to South Korea for a match that almost certainly would have ruled him out of the Red Bulls' next MLS fixture - against Toronto FC on October 14.

The team has made do without Lawrence for the last two games, but he remains the presumptive first-choice left back, and among the best players in that position in MLS and CONCACAF. His absence from the Jamaica squad is only to RBNY's benefit in a Supporters' Shield race that looks destined to go down to the wire.

Not every team in MLS is necessarily so fortunate. Vancouver's fading Shield hopes may have to do without Darren Mattocks on October 14, when the 'Caps travel to Dallas - since he is named to the squad and is therefore expected to be in Seoul the day before. Similarly, Houston's slender chance of making the playoffs may be affected by the fact Giles Barnes will fly to Korea and back before the Dynamo plays Seattle on October 18.

But those are not the concerns of the Red Bulls, who merely want to give themselves the best possible chance of winning a major trophy. The best possible chance rests on having the strongest possible squad available for selection - and Lawrence's presence in Harrison rather than Korea is a huge boost to that ambition.

It doesn't mean RBNY will win another game for the rest of the season, but it does mean it will have one less excuse for any such dip in form. That is surely all the team asks for: to be responsible for its fortunes in the run-in.

Another BAS report on the efforts of Ali Curtis to make the best of Matt Miazga's present international duty reminded us that the front office does work hard behind the scenes to balance the unquestionable privilege of national team call-ups with the priorities of the club. So while we don't know for sure that Jamaica's decision not to call Lawrence into the squad had anything to do with RBNY, there are grounds for giving Curtis and the front office the benefit of any doubt and laying the credit for this arrangement at their door.

Well done, RBNY. Kemar Lawrence hopefully has a long and successful career for his country ahead of him - but he also deserves a chance to win a trophy in MLS, especially since his work is a large part of the reason the Red Bulls even have a shot at winning any silverware this season.