Jamaica international Lance Laing (pictured) joined FC Edmonton in 2013. (Photo: Tony Lewis)
EDMONTON, Canada -- When Lance Laing competes for FC Edmonton, his thoughts are solely on that moment in time and they do not drift into dreams of pulling on the Jamaica national team jersey.
Such a tenacious ability to focus on the task at hand has led the 27-year-old to a spot on the Reggae Boyz’ roster for the upcoming Copa America and, possibly, July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"It's an honor for anyone to play for their country and for me a couple of times already," he said. "I've never been focused to get recalled for my country. I continue to play the game with less pressure, not thinking of my national team. That will help me. The moment I start thinking about the national team it's going throw me off my game. When I get the call-up, I will try and do my best."
With that attitude, Laing earned 2014 Best XI honors in the North American Soccer League.
"It's the ultimate compliment a player can be paid is when he gets brought into his national squad," Edmonton head coach Colin Miller said. “Lance was very much on the outside looking in for a long time. It's a win-win for everybody here. He has been fantastic for the Eddies. He's been a creative player. He has showed great pace and athleticism.
"I've absolutely over the moon for him. When it got announced [it] to the players. He got a standing ovation because that's how popular he is with the players."
At the Copa America, the Jamaicans play Uruguay (June 13), Paraguay (June 16) and Lionel Messi’s Argentina (June 20).
"If I get selected for that that game, playing against Messi…what an honor,” expressed Laing. “I just can't wait to see if he's really human. I've never see him play in real life. Getting a chance to play against him would be awesome.
"I don't think it's honest to have him playing amongst us. He needs to be on another planet. He definitely does not belong on earth. He needs to be somewhere else. He's too good."