New York Red Bulls defenseman Kemar Lawrence has been called up by the Jamaica national team for the country's upcoming World Cup qualifying matches. "Taxi" has been a staple for Jamaica, posting 29 caps since his first call-up in 2013, scoring twice. He is one of nine MLS players called up by the team.
The only World Cup Jamaica has qualified for was France 1998, but most of the time, they have at least made the Hex during CONCACAF qualification. They are on the verge of elimination from the fourth round, as they sit in third in their group with four points. Top two move on to the Hex.
Their first opponent is Panama, who are in second place with seven points. If Jamaica were to lose, they would be eliminated from contention. If they draw, Jamaica would need to defeat Haiti, Panama needs to lose to Costa Rica and they would have to make up a six goal differential at the moment. Highly unlikely scenario for Jamaica. Only a win keeps them alive as they would be tied with Panama going into the final match.
Jamaica first squares off with Panama on the road on September 2nd, followed by a home finale against Haiti on September 6th. The Red Bulls travel to the Vancouver Whitecaps on September 3rd, so Lawrence will be unavailable.
Lawrence has appeared 35 times for the Red Bulls since debuting at the beginning of 2015, scoring his only MLS goal against the Philadelphia Union on October 18th last season.