One of the best left backs in Major League Soccer’s history — we think that’s right — is heading abroad.
The Athletic reports that the New York Red Bulls have agreed to sell Kemar Lawrence to Belgian side Anderlecht for around $1.25 million. He reportedly asked for a trade in November.
Lawrence, 27, has 55 caps for Jamaica with three goals to go with 146 career appearances for RBNY, where he has five goals and 10 assists.
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The man they call “Taxi” goes from an RBNY back line anchored by Aaron Long to an Anderlecht back line skippered by Vincent Kompany.
Anderlecht has struggled this season and is well off its usual European qualification pass. The club has also acquired Nacer Chadli, Samir Nasri, and Man City loanee Philippe Sandler.
Lawrence was limited to nine league matches last season but was a 2018 MLS Best XI and was a Gold Cup Best XI in 2017.
RBNY is going to look really different this season, as Lawrence joins Bradley Wright-Phillips and Luis Robles as mainstays to leave New Jersey.
Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.
BRUSSELS (AP) Player-coach Vincent Kompany is giving up some match-day duties for Anderlecht after a winless start in the Belgian league.
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Assistant coach Simon Davies says he will now take responsibility for tactical changes and substitutions, while Kompany will step up on the field as captain.
Kompany has overseen two draws and two losses, including a second-half slump at Kortrijk last weekend in a 4-2 loss. Anderlecht is 13th in the 16-team league.
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Davies says the new system starts at defending champion Genk on Friday.
The coach, who followed Kompany from Manchester City in the offseason, says “we need some stability” and adds his boss is “really going to concentrate on being the player on match day.”
Vincent Kompany named himself in the starting lineup for Anderlecht’s season-opening Belgian First Division A fixture and suffered his first defeat as the club’s player-manager.
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Kompany was named new Anderlecht manager, along with duties as a first-team player, shortly after announcing he was leaving Manchester City at the conclusion of last season. Sunday’s game was Kompany’s first appearance for the club since he departed for Hamburg in 2006.
Anderlecht went ahead after 13 minutes, but conceded and equalizer just six minutes later and KV Oostende scored the game-winner in the 75th. Kompany played all 90 minutes.
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Anderlecht’s fans welcomed Kompany back home with a banner that read “Left like a prince, came back like a king!” and scarves with his face and the message “Welcome home, Kompany” were sold inside the stadium.
With his re-debut — and first defeat — out of the way, the hard work and potentially harsh assessment period will begin very quickly for Kompany and Co.
Fans support their favorite soccer teams with shirts, scarves, and more apparel and merchandise.
Now, Belgium side Anderlecht is taking fandom to a new level: Food.
In an interesting marketing move, Anderlecht announced that it’s come out with its own version of mayonnaise that’s been dyed purple, the main color of the club (The team is called “The Purple and White” in French and Dutch). One of the most popular gameday snacks in Belgium are fries and mayonaise, according to an informal UEFA poll, and now, fans of Anderlecht can dip their fries into purple mayo!
Mayo is apparently so popular in Belgium that there are literally laws on the books governing its ingredients. The move to create a purple sauce comes from a continued business partnership with Brussels Ketjup, a national Belgian ketchup that has sponsored the team.
The purple mayo will be sold in stores around Brussels (where Anderlecht is located) and Belgium, and proceeds from the sales will go towards Child Focus, a pan-European foundation that helps missing and exploited children.
Could we see this come to the Premier League and the U.S.? Imagine red pies at Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester United, or a bright green pie in Norwich.
What about green ketchup in Seattle for the Sounders, or orange fries at Houston Dynamo games.
It’s unlikely to happen – different colored ketchup from Heinz was a marketing failure – but it could be fun if it was ever tried again on a small scale, tied to a sporting event or team.
Perhaps we’ll be seeing Vincent Kompany downing some fries and purple mayo this fall.
Roberto Martinez is going to suit up a manager as Belgium fights to qualify for EURO 2020.
Okay, okay, that manager is Anderlecht player-manager Vincent Kompany, mere days removed from sealing a domestic treble for Manchester City.
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Kompany, 33, has been called up by Belgium for the first time since November. He has 87 caps with four goals for the Red Devils, and perhaps the nickname will be a little less awkward now that he’s not a member of the Premier League’s “noisy neighbors.”
Here’s what Martinez had to say about Kompany’s inclusion.
“In modern football it is not easy to combine the job of player and coach,” Martinez added. “In England they have a tradition of that but less and less because the job of coach has become enormously demanding. We must give him time. We will support him in everything he does.”
Belgium is in a qualifying group with Russia, Cyprus, Scotland, Kazakhstan, and San Marino, and should waltz into the tournament.