Toronto FC has added more veteran experience to its backline, signing Jamaican international Kemar Lawrence on Friday.
The Canadian club announced the signing of Lawrence from Belgian side Anderlecht through 2024. Lawrence spent the last two seasons with Anderlecht, but now is back in MLS with hopes of lifting an MLS Cup title with TFC.
Sources tell SBI that TFC paid a $600,000 transfer fee to Anderlecht for Lawrence, who was sold by the New York Red Bulls for $1.2 million in January of 2020. The Red Bulls transfer included a 10 percent sell-on clause, meaning they will receive $60,000 of the fee TFC just paid to Anderlecht.
Lawrence made 16 combined appearances for Anderlecht this season, scoring one goal for Vincent Kompany’s side.
One of the best left backs in MLS when he left for Europe, Lawrence steps in and provides an immediate upgrade for TFC at left back, where natural right back Auro had been called on to step in, with veteran Justin Morrow having lost his place as a regular starter.
Lawrence, 28, spent five seasons with the New York Red Bulls, where he made 146 appearances, and scored five goals to go along with 12 assists in all competitions. The fullback helped the Red Bulls win two Supporters’ Shield titles in 2015 and 2018 and is now reunited with former Red Bulls head coach and current TFC boss Chris Armas.
Internationally, Lawrence has earned 60 caps and recorded three goals and six assists for the Jamaican National Team. He has continued to play a consistent role in the Reggae Boyz backline.
Toronto FC suffered elimination from the Concacaf Champions League this week, but will try and rebound on Saturday against Lawrence’s former club, the Red Bulls.