Kemar Lawrence was here, there and everything on the Red Bull Arena pitch Saturday night. (Chris Bergmann/USA TODAY Sports)

It isn’t every day that a defensive player, a left back, is honored for being player of the week.

But then again, the Red Bulls’ Kemar Lawrence isn’t your every-day player.

On Saturday night, there was little doubt that the Jamaican international was the best player in all of Red Bull Arena.

Lawrence used his speed, vision and skill on both ends of the field to play a vital role in New York’s 2-1 win over the New England Revolution.

He quashed many of the Revs’ attacks and set up Daniel Royer’s game-winning goal in the 74th minute in the Major League Soccer match.

For his efforts, Lawrence was named the player of the week Monday.

Lawrence was honored for the week ending Sunday, May 28.

“I think Kemar has been if not our best player then one of our best players this year,” head coach Jesse Marsch said. “He started out slow, had a couple personal things he had to fight through with his family. But, my gosh, he’s playing the best he’s ever played. It’s just a series of consecutive games that he takes care of things defensively first, then finds a way to be dangerous in the attack and make some plays. It’s great to see.”

Since March, Lawrence has been mourning the death of his grandmother, Norma Seymour, who he called his best friend.

He has turned that negative energy into a positive force for the Red Bulls.

“I have so much anger lately,” Lawrence said. “I just have to come on game days and express it on the field. Game days you get away from all of that.

“You can never just put it away. My grandma was my rock, my best friend. She was a person I spoke about every day, I spoke to every day. It’s weird some days that she’s just not around.

“Every day I miss her. There still is a space in my life. Glory be the God, I pray every day and I just ask God to fill that spot with some joy for me. Every day it gets easier and easier.” player of the week winners

Week 1 (March 6) — Joseph Bendik (Orlando City SC)

Week 2 (March 13) — David Villa (New York City FC)

Week 3 (March 20) — Rodney Wallace (New York City FC)

Week 4 (March 27) — Vincent Bezecourt (New York Red Bulls II)

Week 5 (April 3) — Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC)

Week 6 (April 10) — Jimmy Maurer (New York Cosmos)

Week 7 (April 17) — Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls)

Week 8 (April 24) — Alex Muyl (New York Red Bulls)

Week 9 (May 1) — Jack Harrison (New York City FC)

Week 10 (May 8) — Rodney Wallace (New York City FC)

Week 11 (May 15) — Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC)

Week 12 (May 22) — David Villa (New York City FC)

Week 13 (May 29) — Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls)


Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at