TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Toronto FC have acquired left back Kemar Lawrence from RSC Anderlecht, the club announced Friday. The Jamaica international signed a contract through 2024.
Lawrence, 28, joined Anderlecht from the New York Red Bulls in January of last year. He made 17 appearances with the Belgian club in little more than a year in Europe. He had previously spent five seasons with the Red Bulls and was regarded among the league's best left backs.
“We are very excited about Kemar joining the club,” TFC GM Ali Curtis said in a club statement. “He’s a fearless competitor, he has experience, and he immediately makes our team better. Kemar is a lockdown wingback, and we are excited to get him going. Looking forward to he and his family planting roots in Orlando, and then Toronto. Very excited for Kemar to join is an understatement.”
Lawrence made 118 total MLS appearances with RBNY, adding five goals and 10 assists. Known for his explosive pace up and down the left flank, Lawrence picked up the nickname "taxi" and won two Supporters' Shields during his time with RBNY.
The defender also has 60 appearances with the Jamaican national team.
“I believe that we are a really good fit for Kemar and that he complements our roster well,” said head coach Chris Armas. “He adds experience, intensity and a defensive presence that is fierce. I am excited to start working with him again.”
Lawrence is another high-profile addition for Toronto, who acquired Venezuelan international Yeferson Soteldo last week from Santos as a Designated Player. The club had a need for a natural left back, with right back Auro making a few starts on the left flank at the beginning of the season for Toronto, while veteran Justin Morrow has also earned minutes at the position.
The move reunites Lawrence with former Red Bulls head coach Armas and former GM Curtis in Toronto. Armas was an assistant under Jesse Marsch with the Red Bulls from 2015-18 before taking over as head coach during the 2018 season when Marsch departed for Europe. Curtis originally acquired Lawrence for RBNY in 2015 while he served as sporting director.
Toronto travel to face the Red Bulls on Saturday (1 pm ET | MLS Live on ESPN+).