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Bulls Abroad: USMNT to play Jamaica on February 3, 2017

Could be several RBNY players in this one.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever the New York Red Bulls have planned for their 2017 preseason, they will presumably be taking into account a growing calendar of potential international commitments for key players in the current squad.

The US Men's National Team's January camp has long been expected to claim (at least) Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty for a portion of RBNY's pre-season. On January 29, USMNT will play Serbia in San Diego, and now it has been announced that the USA will play Jamaica in Chattanooga on February 3.

Until or unless the Red Bulls change their apparent plans for preseason, that would suggest Kljestan and McCarty might miss out on the three friendlies (against Portland, RSL, and New England) scheduled for RBNY's late-January trip to Arizona.

It may also mean Kemar Lawrence is called away for some portion of the Red Bulls' preseason. The left back is currently considered a senior member of Jamaica's men's national team player pool. The Reggae Boyz are also due to play Honduras in Houston on February 16. The squad will be under the guidance of interim head coach Theodore "Tappa" Whitmore, who is hoping to get longer-term appointment with Jamaica.

Whitmore's plans for his team's February friendlies won't be clear for a while yet, but they are part of general preparations for a busy summer: Jamaica will play in the 2017 Caribbean Cup and Gold Cup this June and July. The matches against the USA and Honduras are scheduled outside the FIFA international calendar, so Whitmore won't simply be able to call up any player he wants to see - clubs don't have to release players to national team duty outside FIFA dates.

When Jamaica's February plan looked restricted to one game against Honduras in Houston, it seemed like a good opportunity to test the fringes of the player pool. But playing the USA in the USA will be a higher profile game, and Whitmore might be well advised to ensure his Reggae Boyz are competitive. And while it is RBNY's right to decline international call-ups in February, if the club (as is expected) lets Kljestan and McCarty represent their country in out-of-season friendlies, it's hard to see how it might justify keeping Lawrence away from his national team.

RBNY's early pre-season training sessions might appear a little undermanned. We will find out when USMNT and Jamaica reveal their plans for the games ahead.