Lawrence and Long named to MLS Best XI
November 11, 2018 (Official Press Release)
New York Red Bulls defenders Aaron Long and Kemar Lawrence have been named to the MLS Best XI for 2018, Major League Soccer announced today. Long and Lawrence anchored a Red Bulls backline that allowed a league-low 33 goals in 34 games en route to an MLS record 71 points and 22 wins.
At 26, Long has had quite the season to remember, being named an MLS All-Star, earning his first call-up and start for the USMNT and earning MLS Defender of the Year honors earlier this week.
Long joined the Red Bulls organization ahead of the 2016 season, where he was converted from midfielder to center back after signing with the NYRB II, the club's USL affiliate. Long excelled in his new role, earning 2016 USL Defender of the Year honors and promotion to the First Team.
Lawrence, a Jamaica international, earned praise during another standout season for New York. He appeared in a career-high 28 league games, recording two goals and an assist, and also finishing in the top five in MLS in Defender of the Year voting. The Red Bulls signed Lawrence to a new multi-year contract in September.
During Lawrence's four seasons, the Red Bulls have won two Supporters' Shield and finished top of the Eastern Conference three times. Lawrence has also been a key player for the Reggae Boyz during his tenure in New York, helping his country to two Gold Cup Finals, a Caribbean Cup championship and two Copa America appearances.
All-Time NY players in MLS Best XI:
1996: Roberto Donadoni
2000: Clint Mathis
2001: Tim Howard
2002: Tim Howard
2003: Eddie Pope
2004: Eddie Gaven, Amado Guevara, Eddie Pope
2007: Juan Pablo Angel
2011: Thierry Henry
2012: Thierry Henry
2013: Tim Cahill
2014: Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips
2015: Dax McCarty, Luis Robles
2016: Sacha Kljestan, Bradley Wright-Phillips
2018: Kemar Lawrence, Aaron Long