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Bulls Abroad: Theodore Whitmore appointed Jamaica coach

Kemar Lawrence's new national team coach is Jamaica's former national team coach.

Ben Radford/Getty Images

The Jamaica Football Federation had created a bit of a coaching crisis for itself by offending the man it had intended to appoint to replace Winfried Schafer at the helm of the Reggae Boyz.

But the crisis is resolved. Theodore "Tappa" Whitmore was announced as interim head coach of the Jamaica Men's National Team while the JFF was still explaining its side of the story Carl Brown had related to the media of the "insulting and disrespectful" offer he received to take charge of the team. Jerome Waite will be Whitmore's assistant.

The coaching team is only appointed for the upcoming October Caribbean Cup qualifiers, though it can be assumed to be auditioning for a longer-term role.

Whitmore has a long association with the Reggae Boyz. As a player, he amassed more than 100 caps for his country, and scored both goals in Jamaica's 2-1 win over Japan at the 1998 World Cup. He has coached the national team before: most recently from 2009 to 2013, after a couple of interim stints in 2007 and 2008.

A disappointing Hexagonal tournament saw Whitmore step down as head coach of the Reggae Boyz once it was clear the team was not going to make the 2014 World Cup. Winfried Schafer was his replacement. Now Whitmore will guide the team as it seeks a suitable candidate to replace Schafer, who departs having failed to get Jamaica to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Whitmore told the Jamaica Observer he'd take the full-time national team head coach job again if it were offered to him.

The New York Red Bulls' Kemar Lawrence has only ever played his men's national team soccer under Schafer, though he was working his way through the Reggae Boyz youth teams and into contention for a senior call-up during Whitmore's last stint as Jamaica's head coach.

Whitmore, in common with just about everyone associated with Jamaican soccer (including Schafer) recently, has stated that the national team needs to recommit to developing local players. Lawrence, a product of Jamaican club soccer system, is one of the more recent  and successful examples of the potential of the national team to develop the country's domestic talent. Vancouver Whitecaps (in its USL days, when Lawrence was a teenager) and D.C. United both passed on signing Lawrence before he signed with RBNY - his first pro deal for a club outside Jamaica, and a deal he signed after he'd started to catch the eye with his first (and last) international goals.

A near-constant starter for the Reggae Boyz under Schafer, Lawrence will now seek to help his national team rebuild and regroup for the 2022 World Cup qualifying cycle.