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Lawrence targets success with Jamaica, NY Red Bulls
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Kemar Lawrence (#20) could see plenty of international action in 2016 with the New York Red Bulls and Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)

HARRISON, New Jersey -- With Jamaica (1W-0D-1L, 3 points) meeting Costa Rica (2-0-0, 6) in two vital fourth round FIFA World Cup qualifiers this month, defender Kemar Lawrence sees it as an opportunity to take the Group B lead.

The third-place Jamaicans trail the Central American champion by three points and second-place Panama (1-0-1, 3) on goal difference (+1 to 0).

The Reggae Boyz host Costa Rica on March 25, before traveling to San Jose for the second meeting four days later.

"If we win, we go to the top," Lawrence said. "That's really the aim, to knock them out of that seat, win at home and go to go their home and try to pull off an upset as well. Hopefully, we'll get our full squad together."

Lawrence is poised for a busy year on the domestic and international fronts.

With his club, the New York Red Bulls, he will participate in three competitions -- Major League Soccer, the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League and the U.S. Open Cup.

Internationally, the 23-year-old Lawrence is expected to wear a Jamaican jersey in the Copa America Centenario.

"I like a busy schedule," he remarked. "It puts me more out there. It puts my team more out there."

In the Centenario, Jamaica will meet Group C rivals Venezuela (June 5; Chicago, Illinois), Mexico in a rematch of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup final (June 9; Pasadena, California) and Uruguay (June 13; Santa Clara, California). The top two sides qualify for the quarterfinals.

"As long as I can do what I can do best and the strength that God provides and the talent, I just want to play as many games as possible and win championships," the former Harbour View standout commented. "That's a real emphasis this year. It's not to only win games. It's not to only be a good player.

"Winning championships is really a team thing and that's what I want to do. That's what this is about -- Red Bull and Jamaica -- winning championships, getting to the World Cup qualifiers. When we go to Copa America Centenario, it's leaving our group."

 
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