As the New York Red Bulls settle in to the off-season, we start the business of watching the team re-shape itself for 2016. Kemar Lawrence has had a very good year for RBNY, and he looks increasingly like one of the players on the current roster destined to try his luck in one of Europe's big leagues.
The rumor mill has already suggested bigger clubs are circling the Red Bulls' starting left back. If and when those big clubs make a move, it is unlikely RBNY will be able to stand in the way: one cannot begrudge a player the opportunity to compete on a bigger stage for a higher salary. But if those teams don't come calling, it would be nice to think the Red Bulls recognize the asset they have uncovered and are willing to take steps to keep Lawrence in the red-and-white for as long as is mutually desired.
The eagle eyes of @JeffreyKleiman spotted a social media post that strongly suggests RBNY fans need not worry: Kemar is under contract with the Red Bulls for the foreseeable future.
That is Lawrence's former club in Jamaica - Harbour View FC - saying he signed a three-year deal with RBNY. It isn't clear whether that three-year contract was the one Lawrence signed earlier this year when he joined RBNY (terms were not disclosed), or if this is a new deal the player has earned with his performances in 2015.
Rumors have popped up suggesting the Red Bulls have recently picked up a two-year option on Lawrence, so perhaps it is both a longstanding agreement and a recent development.
Source: #RBNY to pick up 2-yr option for Kemar Lawrence
— Metro Soccer Nation (@Metro_Soccer) November 30, 2015
Source: Kemar Lawrence's 2 year option has been picked up. #RBNY
— MLS Transfers (@MLSTransfers) November 30, 2015
More news will doubtless become available in due course. For now, we can add Kemar Lawrence to the list of players likely to be lining up for RBNY next season - or for whom the Red Bulls can expect to extract full value from the transfer market, if the January transfer window brings offers the player cannot ignore.