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Report: Toronto FC sign defender Kemar Lawrence from Belgian side Anderlecht

The club has reportedly moved to bolster their defensive line by bringing in the 2018 MLS Best XI left back.

KAA Gent v RSC Anderlecht - Jupiler Pro League Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

MANITOBA, Canada—Earlier this morning, various soccer whizzes at the Athletic reported that Toronto FC have continued to be movers and shakers in the transfer market and have acquired Jamaican-international left-back Kamar Lawrence from Belgian side Anderlecht. This follows today’s earlier confirmation that Liam Fraser has departed the club to join Columbus on loan.

Lawrence, 28, will be making his return to MLS after leaving New York Red Bulls in January of 2020 to join the Belgian side. The defender went on to make 17 appearances for Anderlecht, scoring once. Previously, Lawrence spent five seasons with Red Bulls, establishing himself as one of the best left-backs in the league and earning an MLS Best XI selection in 2018 and an MLS All-Star selection in 2019. He was a key figure in the 2018 Red Bulls side that boasted a league best defence on the way to win the 2018 Supporters Shield.

The addition of Lawrence bolsters Toronto’s fullback position, which was certainly an area of concern for the club. So far this season, TFC have only had Auro Jr., Justin Morrow and Richie Lareya on the books as natural full-back options, with Auro playing on his off-side as a left-back thus far. The addition of Lawrence brings veteran experience and further defensive cover to a Toronto side that has shown the need for both.

The move also reunites Lawrence with former NYRB men Chris Armas and Ali Curtis, both of whom he played under in his time with the club. Ali Curtis also acquired Lawrence as Sporting Director for Red Bulls in 2015, when he brought the defender in from Harbour View FC in Jamaica.

Lawrence qualifies as a free agent within MLS so the transfer was not subject to the MLS Allocation List. He also obtained a green card in 2018, meaning the Jamaican international will count as a domestic player.