BigAppleSoccer.com's Kristian Dyer reports Kemar Lawrence will miss the New York Red Bulls' mid-week match in Chicago on August 26. The Jamaican has played two international tournaments for his country this summer - Copa America and Gold Cup - as well as advancing his reputation in MLS to the point where he can reasonably be suggested for consideration as the best left back in the league.
Jesse Marsch says, quite simply, he's managing the player's minutes - in training and in competition. Lawrence has played every minute of Jamaica's last nine matches between June 13 and July 26. And he's logged 15 starts and 1287 minutes for RBNY since making his competitive debut for the club against D.C. United on March 22. All told, that's 2,097 minutes of high-level soccer in five months.
There are outfield players in the squad who have played more: Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan, Felipe Martins, and Bradley Wright-Phillips have each played more than 2,100 minutes to date this season. But none of them has had to split time between club and country.
And, of course, every player is different. Matt Miazga's 2015 currently includes 1020 minutes for the US U-20s and 1721 for RBNY: 2741 total. If he is called up for the US U-23s Olympic Qualifying campaign, he'll add even more to his workload.
But Miazga is not Lawrence: the physical and mental needs of each player must be managed individually, for the good of the team. It is to be hoped Taxi has a busy few months ahead of him: World Cup Qualifying with Jamaica lies ahead, as does (barring a catastrophic collapse in form) the MLS post-season.
In the shorter term, Lawrence is expected to be called up by Jamaica for World Cup qualifiers against Nicaragua on September 4 and September 8. Marsch has said he plans to include his best left back in the lineup for D.C. United's visit to Red Bull Arena on August 30. On September 11, RBNY plays Chicago again - this time at home. On September 16 there is a trip to New England, followed by a run to Portland for a game in September 20 and then Orlando City's game at the Arena on September 25. Up to seven matches in 27 games: roughly 90 minutes of pro soccer every four days for the next month (which suggests this won't be the last time Lawrence takes a break).
The Red Bulls currently have games in hand in the league, opportunity to recover from points dropped, and left back is one of the roster's deepest positions. If there is a good time to rest Kemar Lawrence it is surely now.