A shirtless Kemar Lawrence, Je-Vaughn Watson and Darren Mattocks celebrate Jamaica’s Gold Cup victorry. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)
Red Bulls left back Kemar Lawrence, who scored the dramatic free kick to lift Jamaica to a 1-0 uspet of Mexico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Sunday night, was named winner of the FrontRowSoccer.com’s goal of the week Monday.
He was honored for the week ending Sunday, July 23.
Lawrence connected on a 24-yard free kick in the 88th minute at the Rose Bowl.
The decisive play of the match was set up after Mexico’s Hugo Ayala fouled Michael Binns two yards from the penalty arc in the 86th minute.
Jamaican forward Owayne Gordon and Binns stood to the left and right of the ball, respectively, apparently ready to take the free kick as Lawrence ambled up from his left back spot. In a bit of gamesmanship, Lawrence repositioned the ball as a Mexican player protested. He then launched a curling shot with his left foot over a four-man defensive wall into the top corner as goalkeeper Jesus Corona did not move a muscle.
“The free kick we practice a lot yesterday, so it was no surprise to me,” Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore said. “If you can recall. it was when the ref blew the whistle, he went back and spotted the ball well. He knew it was his time.”
The defender scored his third international goal and his first in three years.
Lawrence, who took free kicks throughout the tournament for Jamaica, hasn’t attempted any for the Red Bulls. But that could very well change after his 11th-hour heroics.
“Well, the New York Red Bulls probably have better kickers than Kemar Lawrence,” Whitmore said. “The Jamaica team needs Kemar Lawrence in dead-ball situations. It’s a totally different thing. Probably when the New York Red Bulls see this tonight, Kemar might be taking free kicks.”
This was the second time Lawrence won goal of the week honors. He was feted May 1 for his score for the Red Bulls.
Jamaica and Lawrence will meet the United States in the Gold Cup final at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Wednesday night.